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Neoproterozoic ice ages, boron isotopes, and ocean acidification: Implications for a snowball Earth

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Author(s)

Simone A. Kasemann, Tony Prave, Anthony E. Fallick, Chris Hawkesworth, Karl-Heinz Hoffmann

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Abstract

The Neoproterozoic Earth underwent at least two severe glaciations, each extending to low paleomagnetic latitudes and punctuating warmer climates. The two widespread older and younger Cryogenian glacial deposits in Namibia are directly overlain by cap carbonates deposited under inferred periods of high atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations. Oceanic uptake of carbon dioxide decreases ocean pH; here we present a record of Cryogenian interglacial ocean pH, based on boron ( B) isotopes in marine carbonates. Our data suggest a largely constant ocean pH and no critically elevated pCO(2) throughout the older postglacial and interglacial periods. In contrast, a marked ocean acidification event marks the younger deglaciation period and is compatible with elevated postglacial pCO(2) concentration. Our data are consistent with the presence of two panglacial climate states in the Cryogenian, but indicate that each had its own distinct environmental conditions.

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Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)775-778
Number of pages4
JournalGeology
Volume38
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2010

    Research areas

  • CARBON, CHEMISTRY, CONSTRAINTS, GLACIATION, TRANSITION, CALCIUM, NAMIBIA, PH

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