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Publication - Professor Andy Ridgwell

    Late inception of a resiliently oxygenated upper ocean

    Citation

    Lu, W, Ridgwell, A, Thomas, E, Hardisty, DS, Luo, G, Algeo, TJ, Saltzman, MR, Gill, BC, Shen, Y, Ling, HF, Edwards, CT, Whalen, MT, Zhou, X, Gutchess, KM, Jin, L, Rickaby, RE, Jenkyns, HC, Lyons, TW, Lenton, TM, Kump, LR & Lu, Z, 2018, ‘Late inception of a resiliently oxygenated upper ocean’. Science, vol 361., pp. 174-177

    Abstract

    Rising oceanic and atmospheric oxygen levels through time have been crucial to enhanced habitability of surface Earth environments. Few redox proxies can track secular variations in dissolved oxygen concentrations ([O2]) around threshold levels for metazoan survival in the upper ocean. We present an extensive compilation of iodine to calcium ratios (I/Ca) in marine carbonates. Our record supports a major rise in atmospheric pO2 at ~400 million years ago (Ma), and reveals a step-change in the oxygenation of the upper ocean to relatively sustainable near-modern conditions at ~200 Ma. An Earth system model demonstrates that a shift in organic matter remineralization to greater depths, which may have been due to increasing size and biomineralization of eukaryotic plankton, likely drove the I/Ca signals at ~200 Ma.

    Full details in the University publications repository