Multiple sulfur isotopes of sulfides from sediments in the aftermath of Paleoproterozoic glaciations

Dominic Papineau, S. Mojzsis, C. D. Coath, J. A. Karhu, K. D. McKeegan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

65 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Geochemical evidence reported from Paleoproterozoic sediments has long been used to evaluate the transition from the anoxic Archean atmosphere to an oxygenated atmosphere. Sulfur isotopes (32S, 33S, 34S and 36S) in sedimentary sulfides and sulfates are an especially sensitive means to monitor this transition, such that the timing of the Paleoproterozoic "Great Oxidation Event" can be investigated using mass-independently fractionated (MIF) sulfur isotope systematics expressed as Δ33S. Here we report data from 83 individual analyses of pyrite, pyrrhotite and chalcopyrite on a new suite of 30 different samples from Finland, South Africa, Wyoming and Ontario that span ∼600 My and follow one or several "Snowball Earth" events in the Paleoproterozoic. The samples were measured using a high-resolution secondary ion mass spectrometry technique in multicollection mode that investigates multiple sulfur isotopes in microdomains (2 concentrations that were likely affected by an interplay of O2 sinks in the atmosphere and the upper ocean and continental crust, and by the emergence and diversification of aerobic organisms. Our results demonstrate that MIF sulfur isotopes are absent in sediments deposited after the period of protracted global cooling in the Paleoproterozoic and independently confirm observations that MIF ceased during this time. We interpret our results by integrating Δ33S and δ34S data in sulfides, δ13C data in carbonates and the estimated timing of glaciation events in the Paleoproterozoic. Data strongly hint at the presence of microbial sulfate reduction and fluctuations in the concentration of dissolved seawater sulfate and/or in δ34Ssulfate in the aftermath of glaciations and likely were affected by changing erosion rates and nutrient delivery to the oceans. These changes modulated the population of primary producers, especially oxygenic photosynthesizers, and led to fluctuations in the abundance of atmospheric O2, CO2 and CH4. Our results support the interpretation that the world-wide δ13Ccarb excursion observed between ∼2.25 and 2.05 Ga(Karhu and Holland, 1996) was a period of significant accumulation of O2 in the atmosphere.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5033-5060
Number of pages28
JournalGeochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
Volume69
Issue number21
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2005

Fingerprint

Sulfur Isotopes
sulfur isotope
Sulfides
glaciation
Sediments
sulfide
Sulfates
atmosphere
sulfate
sediment
Carbonates
upper ocean
pyrrhotite
Secondary ion mass spectrometry
erosion rate
chalcopyrite
Seawater
Nutrients
continental crust
Archean

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geochemistry and Petrology

Cite this

Multiple sulfur isotopes of sulfides from sediments in the aftermath of Paleoproterozoic glaciations. / Papineau, Dominic; Mojzsis, S.; Coath, C. D.; Karhu, J. A.; McKeegan, K. D.

In: Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, Vol. 69, No. 21, 01.11.2005, p. 5033-5060.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Papineau, Dominic ; Mojzsis, S. ; Coath, C. D. ; Karhu, J. A. ; McKeegan, K. D. / Multiple sulfur isotopes of sulfides from sediments in the aftermath of Paleoproterozoic glaciations. In: Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta. 2005 ; Vol. 69, No. 21. pp. 5033-5060.
@article{e798c79e87b643ae988c7e94a3c836ec,
title = "Multiple sulfur isotopes of sulfides from sediments in the aftermath of Paleoproterozoic glaciations",
abstract = "Geochemical evidence reported from Paleoproterozoic sediments has long been used to evaluate the transition from the anoxic Archean atmosphere to an oxygenated atmosphere. Sulfur isotopes (32S, 33S, 34S and 36S) in sedimentary sulfides and sulfates are an especially sensitive means to monitor this transition, such that the timing of the Paleoproterozoic {"}Great Oxidation Event{"} can be investigated using mass-independently fractionated (MIF) sulfur isotope systematics expressed as Δ33S. Here we report data from 83 individual analyses of pyrite, pyrrhotite and chalcopyrite on a new suite of 30 different samples from Finland, South Africa, Wyoming and Ontario that span ∼600 My and follow one or several {"}Snowball Earth{"} events in the Paleoproterozoic. The samples were measured using a high-resolution secondary ion mass spectrometry technique in multicollection mode that investigates multiple sulfur isotopes in microdomains (2 concentrations that were likely affected by an interplay of O2 sinks in the atmosphere and the upper ocean and continental crust, and by the emergence and diversification of aerobic organisms. Our results demonstrate that MIF sulfur isotopes are absent in sediments deposited after the period of protracted global cooling in the Paleoproterozoic and independently confirm observations that MIF ceased during this time. We interpret our results by integrating Δ33S and δ34S data in sulfides, δ13C data in carbonates and the estimated timing of glaciation events in the Paleoproterozoic. Data strongly hint at the presence of microbial sulfate reduction and fluctuations in the concentration of dissolved seawater sulfate and/or in δ34Ssulfate in the aftermath of glaciations and likely were affected by changing erosion rates and nutrient delivery to the oceans. These changes modulated the population of primary producers, especially oxygenic photosynthesizers, and led to fluctuations in the abundance of atmospheric O2, CO2 and CH4. Our results support the interpretation that the world-wide δ13Ccarb excursion observed between ∼2.25 and 2.05 Ga(Karhu and Holland, 1996) was a period of significant accumulation of O2 in the atmosphere.",
author = "Dominic Papineau and S. Mojzsis and Coath, {C. D.} and Karhu, {J. A.} and McKeegan, {K. D.}",
year = "2005",
month = "11",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1016/j.gca.2005.07.005",
language = "English",
volume = "69",
pages = "5033--5060",
journal = "Geochmica et Cosmochimica Acta",
issn = "0016-7037",
publisher = "Elsevier Limited",
number = "21",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Multiple sulfur isotopes of sulfides from sediments in the aftermath of Paleoproterozoic glaciations

AU - Papineau, Dominic

AU - Mojzsis, S.

AU - Coath, C. D.

AU - Karhu, J. A.

AU - McKeegan, K. D.

PY - 2005/11/1

Y1 - 2005/11/1

N2 - Geochemical evidence reported from Paleoproterozoic sediments has long been used to evaluate the transition from the anoxic Archean atmosphere to an oxygenated atmosphere. Sulfur isotopes (32S, 33S, 34S and 36S) in sedimentary sulfides and sulfates are an especially sensitive means to monitor this transition, such that the timing of the Paleoproterozoic "Great Oxidation Event" can be investigated using mass-independently fractionated (MIF) sulfur isotope systematics expressed as Δ33S. Here we report data from 83 individual analyses of pyrite, pyrrhotite and chalcopyrite on a new suite of 30 different samples from Finland, South Africa, Wyoming and Ontario that span ∼600 My and follow one or several "Snowball Earth" events in the Paleoproterozoic. The samples were measured using a high-resolution secondary ion mass spectrometry technique in multicollection mode that investigates multiple sulfur isotopes in microdomains (2 concentrations that were likely affected by an interplay of O2 sinks in the atmosphere and the upper ocean and continental crust, and by the emergence and diversification of aerobic organisms. Our results demonstrate that MIF sulfur isotopes are absent in sediments deposited after the period of protracted global cooling in the Paleoproterozoic and independently confirm observations that MIF ceased during this time. We interpret our results by integrating Δ33S and δ34S data in sulfides, δ13C data in carbonates and the estimated timing of glaciation events in the Paleoproterozoic. Data strongly hint at the presence of microbial sulfate reduction and fluctuations in the concentration of dissolved seawater sulfate and/or in δ34Ssulfate in the aftermath of glaciations and likely were affected by changing erosion rates and nutrient delivery to the oceans. These changes modulated the population of primary producers, especially oxygenic photosynthesizers, and led to fluctuations in the abundance of atmospheric O2, CO2 and CH4. Our results support the interpretation that the world-wide δ13Ccarb excursion observed between ∼2.25 and 2.05 Ga(Karhu and Holland, 1996) was a period of significant accumulation of O2 in the atmosphere.

AB - Geochemical evidence reported from Paleoproterozoic sediments has long been used to evaluate the transition from the anoxic Archean atmosphere to an oxygenated atmosphere. Sulfur isotopes (32S, 33S, 34S and 36S) in sedimentary sulfides and sulfates are an especially sensitive means to monitor this transition, such that the timing of the Paleoproterozoic "Great Oxidation Event" can be investigated using mass-independently fractionated (MIF) sulfur isotope systematics expressed as Δ33S. Here we report data from 83 individual analyses of pyrite, pyrrhotite and chalcopyrite on a new suite of 30 different samples from Finland, South Africa, Wyoming and Ontario that span ∼600 My and follow one or several "Snowball Earth" events in the Paleoproterozoic. The samples were measured using a high-resolution secondary ion mass spectrometry technique in multicollection mode that investigates multiple sulfur isotopes in microdomains (2 concentrations that were likely affected by an interplay of O2 sinks in the atmosphere and the upper ocean and continental crust, and by the emergence and diversification of aerobic organisms. Our results demonstrate that MIF sulfur isotopes are absent in sediments deposited after the period of protracted global cooling in the Paleoproterozoic and independently confirm observations that MIF ceased during this time. We interpret our results by integrating Δ33S and δ34S data in sulfides, δ13C data in carbonates and the estimated timing of glaciation events in the Paleoproterozoic. Data strongly hint at the presence of microbial sulfate reduction and fluctuations in the concentration of dissolved seawater sulfate and/or in δ34Ssulfate in the aftermath of glaciations and likely were affected by changing erosion rates and nutrient delivery to the oceans. These changes modulated the population of primary producers, especially oxygenic photosynthesizers, and led to fluctuations in the abundance of atmospheric O2, CO2 and CH4. Our results support the interpretation that the world-wide δ13Ccarb excursion observed between ∼2.25 and 2.05 Ga(Karhu and Holland, 1996) was a period of significant accumulation of O2 in the atmosphere.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=28344434470&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=28344434470&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.gca.2005.07.005

DO - 10.1016/j.gca.2005.07.005

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:28344434470

VL - 69

SP - 5033

EP - 5060

JO - Geochmica et Cosmochimica Acta

JF - Geochmica et Cosmochimica Acta

SN - 0016-7037

IS - 21

ER -