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A stratified redox model for the Ediacaran Ocean
Li, C.; Love, G.D.; Lyons, T.W.; Fike, D.A.; Sessions, A.L.; Chu, X. (2010). A stratified redox model for the Ediacaran Ocean. Science (Wash.) 328(5974): 80-83. https://hdl.handle.net/10.1126/science.1182369
In: Science (Washington). American Association for the Advancement of Science: New York, N.Y. ISSN 0036-8075; e-ISSN 1095-9203, meer
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  • Li, C.
  • Love, G.D.
  • Lyons, T.W.
  • Fike, D.A.
  • Sessions, A.L.
  • Chu, X.

Abstract
    The Ediacaran Period (635 to 542 million years ago) was a time of fundamental environmental and evolutionary change, culminating in the first appearance of macroscopic animals. Here, we present a detailed spatial and temporal record of Ediacaran ocean chemistry for the Doushantuo Formation in the Nanhua Basin, South China. We find evidence for a metastable zone of euxinic (anoxic and sulfidic) waters impinging on the continental shelf and sandwiched within ferruginous [Fe(II)-enriched] deep waters. A stratified ocean with coeval oxic, sulfidic, and ferruginous zones, favored by overall low oceanic sulfate concentrations, was maintained dynamically throughout the Ediacaran Period. Our model reconciles seemingly conflicting geochemical redox conditions proposed previously for Ediacaran deep oceans and helps to explain the patchy temporal record of early metazoan fossils.

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