Two-billion-year-old evaporites capture Earth’s great oxidation

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Science  20 Apr 2018:
Vol. 360, Issue 6386, pp. 320-323
DOI: 10.1126/science.aar2687

A strongly oxidizing Paleoproterozoic era

Two billion years ago, marine sulfate concentrations were around one-third as high as modern ones, constituting an oxidizing capacity equivalent to more than 20% of that of the modern ocean-atmosphere system. Blättler et al. found this by analyzing a remarkable evaporite succession more than 1 billion years older than the oldest comparable deposit discovered to date. These quantitative results, for a time when only more qualitative information was previously available, provide a constraint on the magnitude and timing of early Earth's response to the Great Oxidation Event 2.3 billion years ago.

Science, this issue p. 320

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