Geochemical and Radiometric Constraints on the Redox History of Late Ediacaran Oceans
Kaufman, Alan J.
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Over the past decade, significant field and laboratory studies have been devoted to furthering understanding of the chemical conditions that accompanied the origin and diversification of Earth's earliest multicellular animals during the Ediacaran Period (ca. 635-542 Ma). Here, I apply geochemical methods to excellently preserved and exposed sections spanning approximately the last 10 million years of the Ediacaran Period. From Arctic Siberia, hundreds of samples were collected at high stratigraphic resolution, from which carbonate carbon and oxygen profiles have been produced, along with organic carbon and sulfur isotope data. From South China, a carbonate carbon isotope profile has been constructed. Radiometric dates constrain the timing of deposition in our sections. This work uses geochemical data and radiometric dating to inform and improve intra- and inter-basinal correlation, and serves as a preliminary study confirming the suitability of our Siberian sections to the study of oxygenation during the latest Ediacaran Period.