Uranium isotopes distinguish two geochemically distinct stages during the later Cambrian SPICE event

Published on Sep 1, 2014in Earth and Planetary Science Letters4.637
· DOI :10.1016/j.epsl.2014.05.043
Tais W. Dahl14
Estimated H-index: 14
(Wild Center),
Richard A. Boyle9
Estimated H-index: 9
(University of Exeter)
+ 4 AuthorsMartin Bizzarro35
Estimated H-index: 35
(Wild Center)
a b s t r a c t Anoxic marine zones were common in early Paleozoic oceans (542-400 Ma), and present a potential link to atmospheric pO2 via feedbacks linking global marine phosphorous recycling, primary production and organic carbon burial. Uranium (U ) isotopes in carbonate rocks track the extent of ocean anoxia, whereas carbon (C ) and sulfur (S) isotopes track the burial of organic carbon and pyrite sulfur (primary long-term sources of atmospheric oxygen). In combination, these proxies therefore reveal the comparative dynamics of ocean anoxia and oxygen liberation to the atmosphere over million-year time scales. Here we report high-precision uranium isotopic data in marine carbonates deposited during the Late Cambrian 'SPICE' event, at ca. 499 Ma, documenting a well-defined −0.18 negative δ 238 U excursion that occurs at the onset of the SPICE event's positive δ 13
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