Skip to content

Research at St Andrews

Modeling the Signature of Sulfur Mass-Independent Fractionation produced in the Archean Atmosphere

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Author(s)

Mark Claire, James Kasting, Shawn Domagal-Goldman, Eva Stueken, Roger Buick, Victoria Meadows

School/Research organisations

Abstract

Minor sulfur isotope anomalies indicate the absence of O2 from the Archean atmosphere. A rich dataset showing large variations in magnitude and sign of Δ33S and Δ36S, preserved in both sulfates and sulfides, suggests that further constraints on Archean atmospheric chemistry are possible. We review previous quantitative constraints on atmospheric Δ33S production, and suggest that a new approach is needed. We added sulfur species containing 33S and 34S to a 1-D photochemical model and describe the numerical methodology needed to ensure accurate prediction of the magnitude and sign of Δ33S produced by and deposited from the Archean atmosphere. This methodology can test multiple MIF-S formation mechanisms subject to a variety of proposed atmospheric compositions, yielding Δ33S predictions that can be compared to the rock record. We systematically test SO2 isotopologue absorption effects in SO2 photolysis (Danielache et al., 2008), one of the primary proposed mechanisms for Δ33S formation. We find that differential absorption through the Danielache et al. (2008) cross sections is capable of altering predicted Δ33S as a function of multiple atmospheric variables, including trace O2 concentration, total sulfur flux, CO2 content, and the presence of hydrocarbons, but find a limited role for OCS and H2S. Under all realistic conditions, the Danielache et al. (2008) cross sections yield Δ33S predictions at odds with the geologic record, implying that additional pathways for sulfur MIF formation exist and/or the cross sections have significant errors. The methodology presented here will allow for quantitative constraints on the Archean atmosphere beyond the absence of O2, as soon as additional experimental measurements of MIF-S producing processes become available.
Close

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)365-380
Number of pages15
JournalGeochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
Volume141
Early online date11 Jul 2014
DOIs
StatePublished - 15 Sep 2014

    Research areas

  • Sulfur isotope records, Archean atmosphere, Mass independent fractionation

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

View graph of relations

Related by author

  1. Triple oxygen isotope analysis of nitrate using isotope exchange - cavity ringdown laser spectroscopy

    Gázquez, F. & Claire, M. W. 30 Nov 2018 In : Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry. 32, 22, p. 1949-1961

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. Long-term planetary habitability and the carbonate-silicate cycle

    Rushby, A. J., Johnson, M., Mills, B. J. W., Watson, A. J. & Claire, M. W. 1 May 2018 In : Astrobiology. 18, 5, p. 469-480 12 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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

    Blättler, C., Claire, M., Prave, A. R., Zerkle, A. L. & Warke, M. R. 22 Mar 2018 In : Science. eaar2687

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  4. Evaluation of the Tindouf Basin region in Southern Morocco as an analog site for soil geochemistry on Noachian Mars

    Oberlin, E. A., Claire, M. W. & Kounaves, S. 9 Feb 2018 In : Astrobiology. 18, 8

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  5. High-frequency fluctuations in redox conditions during the latest Permian mass extinction

    Mettam, C., Zerkle, A. L., Claire, M. W., Izon, G., Junium, C. J. & Twitchett, R. J. 1 Nov 2017 In : Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology. 485, p. 210-223

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Related by journal

  1. Assessing foraminifera biomineralisation models through trace element data of cultures under variable seawater chemistry

    Evans, D., Müller, W. & Erez, J. 8 Mar 2018 In : Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta. In press

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. Coupled Mg/Ca and clumped isotope analyses of foraminifera provide consistent water temperatures

    Breitenbach, S. F. M., Mleneck-Vautravers, M. J., Grauel, A. L., Lo, L., Bernasconi, S. M., Müller, I. A., Rolfe, J., Gázquez, F., Greaves, M. & Hodell, D. A. 1 Sep 2018 In : Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta. 236, p. 283-296 14 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. Prediction of equilibrium isotopic fractionation of the gypsum/bassanite/water system using first-principles calculations

    Liu, T., Artacho, E., Gázquez, F., Walters, G. & Hodell, D. 5 Sep 2018 In : Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta. In press

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  4. Records of carbon and sulfur cycling during the Silurian Ireviken Event in Gotland, Sweden

    Rose, C., Fischer, W. W., Finnegan, S. & Fike, D. A. 26 Nov 2018 In : Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta. In press

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  5. Differential metamorphic effects on nitrogen isotopes in kerogen extracts and bulk rocks

    Stueeken, E. E., Zaloumis, J., Meixnerová, J. & Buick, R. 15 Nov 2017 In : Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta. 217, p. 80-94

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

ID: 139328532