Skip to content

Research at St Andrews

Identifying global vs. basinal controls on Paleoproterozoic organic carbon and sulfur isotope records

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Author(s)

K. Paiste, A. Lepland, A. L. Zerkle, K. Kirsimäe, T. Kreitsmann, K. Mänd, A. E. Romashkin, D. V. Rychanchik, A. R. Prave

School/Research organisations

Abstract

Paleoproterozoic sedimentary successions are important archives of the redox evolution of Earth's atmosphere and oceans. Efforts to unravel the dynamics of our planet's early oxygenation from this archive rely on various geochemical proxies, including stable carbon and sulfur isotopes. However, ancient metasedimentary rocks often experienced early- and late-stage (bio)geochemical processes making it difficult to discern primary environmental signals from bulk-rock δ13Corg and δ34S values. Such complexity in carbon and sulfur isotope systematics contributes to uncertainty about the redox structure of Paleoproterozoic oceans. A currently popular idea is that, following the Great Oxidation Event, global changes led to low-oxygen environments and temporally fluctuating ocean redox conditions that lasted until the Neoproterozoic. The volcano-sedimentary rocks of the Onega Basin have figured prominently in this concept, particularly the exceptionally organic-rich rocks of the 1.98 Ga Zaonega Formation. However, a growing body of evidence shows that local depositional processes acted to form the δ13Corg and pyrite δ34S records of the Zaonega Formation, thus calling for careful assessment of the global significance of these isotope records. Placing new and existing organic carbon and sulfur isotope data from the Zaonega Formation into the context of basin history and by comparing those results with key Paleoproterozoic successions of the Francevillian Basin (Gabon), the Pechenga Greenstone Belt (NW Russia) and the Animikie Basin (Canada), we show that the stratigraphic δ13Corg and pyrite δ34S trends can be explained by local perturbations in biogeochemical carbon and sulfur cycling without requiring global drivers. Despite their temporal disparity, we also demonstrate that individual successions share certain geological traits (e.g. magmatic and/or tectonic activity, hydrocarbon generation, basin restriction) suggesting that their pyrite δ34S and δ13Corg trends were governed by common underlying mechanisms (e.g. similar basinal evolution and biogeochemical feedbacks) and are not necessarily unique to certain time intervals. We further show that pyrites in these successions that are most likely to capture ambient seawater sulfate isotopic composition have consistent δ34S values of 15–18‰, which hints at remarkable stability in the marine sulfur cycle over most of the Paleoproterozoic Era.

Close

Details

Original languageEnglish
Article number103230
JournalEarth-Science Reviews
Volume207
Early online date3 Jun 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2020

    Research areas

  • Carbon cycle, Great Oxidation Event, Ocean redox, Onega Basin, Paleoproterozoic, Sulfur cycle

Discover related content
Find related publications, people, projects and more using interactive charts.

View graph of relations

Related by author

  1. The Great Oxidation Event preceded a Paleoproterozoic "snowball Earth"

    Warke, M. R., Di Rocco, T., Zerkle, A. L., Lepland, A., Prave, T., Martin, A., Ueno, Y., Condon, D. & Claire, M., 16 Jun 2020, In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 117, 24, p. 13314-13320 7 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  2. The pyrite multiple sulfur isotope record of the 1.98 Ga Zaonega Formation: evidence for biogeochemical sulfur cycling in a semi-restricted basin

    Paiste, K., Pellerin, A., Zerkle, A. L., Kirsimäe, K., Prave, T., Romashkin, A. E. & Lepland, A., 15 Mar 2020, In: Earth and Planetary Science Letters. 534, 116092.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  3. Anaerobic nitrogen cycling on a Neoarchean ocean margin

    Mettam, C. W., Zerkle, A. L., Claire, M., Prave, A. R., Poulton, S. W. & Junium, C. K., 1 Dec 2019, In: Earth and Planetary Science Letters. 527, 115800.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  4. Multiple sulphur isotope records tracking basinal and global processes in the 1.98 Ga Zaonega Formation, NW Russia

    Paiste, K., Lepland, A., Zerkle, A. L., Kirsimäe, K., Izon, G. J., Patel, N., McLean, F., Kreitsmann, T., Mänd, K., Bui, T., Romashkin, A., Rychanchik, D. & Prave, A. R., 5 Nov 2018, In: Chemical Geology. 499, p. 151-164 14 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  5. Two-billion-year-old evaporites capture Earth's great oxidation

    Blättler, C., Claire, M., Prave, A. R., Kirsimäe, K., Higgins, J. A., Medvedev, P. V., Romashkin, A. E., Rychanchik, D. V., Zerkle, A. L., Paiste, K., Kreitsmann, T., Millar, I. L., Hayles, J. A., Bao, H., Turchyn, A. V., Warke, M. R. & Lepland, A., 20 Apr 2018, In: Science. 360, 6386, p. 320-323 5 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Related by journal

  1. Fjords as Aquatic Critical Zones (ACZs)

    Bianchi, T., Arndt, S., Austin, W., Benn, D. I., Bertrand, S., Cui, X., Faust, J., Koziorowska-Makuch, K., Moy, C., Savage, C., Smeaton, C., Smith, R. & Syvitski, J., Apr 2020, In: Earth Science Reviews. 203, 103145.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  2. Response of Tibetan Plateau’s lakes to climate changes: trend, pattern, and mechanisms

    Zhang, G., Yao, T., Xie, H., Yang, K., Zhu, L., Shum, C. K., Bolch, T., Yi, S., Allen, S., Jiang, L., Chen, W. & Ke, C., Sep 2020, In: Earth-Science Reviews. 208, 103269.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  3. Jiangnan Orogen, South China: a ~970–820 Ma Rodinia margin accretionary belt

    Yao, J., Cawood, P. A., Shu, L. & Zhao, G., Sep 2019, In: Earth Science Reviews. 196

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  4. Glacial geomorphological mapping: a review of approaches and frameworks for best practice

    Chandler, B. M. P., Lovell, H., Boston, C. M., Lukas, S., Barr, I. D., Benediktsson, Í. Ö., Benn, D. I., Clark, C. D., Darvill, C. M., Evans, D. J. A., Ewertowski, M. W., Loibl, D., Margold, M., Otto, J-C., Roberts, D. H., Stokes, C. R., Storrar, R. D. & Stroeven, A. P., Oct 2018, In: Earth Science Reviews. 185, p. 806-846

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

ID: 268710870

Top