Document Detail

Hydrogen sulphide release to surface waters at the Precambrian/Cambrian boundary.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  18509331     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Animal-like multicellular fossils appeared towards the end of the Precambrian, followed by a rapid increase in the abundance and diversity of fossils during the Early Cambrian period, an event also known as the 'Cambrian explosion'. Changes in the environmental conditions at the Precambrian/Cambrian transition (about 542 Myr ago) have been suggested as a possible explanation for this event, but are still a matter of debate. Here we report molybdenum isotope signatures of black shales from two stratigraphically correlated sample sets with a depositional age of around 542 Myr. We find a transient molybdenum isotope signal immediately after the Precambrian/Cambrian transition. Using a box model of the oceanic molybdenum cycle, we find that intense upwelling of hydrogen sulphide-rich deep ocean water best explains the observed Early Cambrian molybdenum isotope signal. Our findings suggest that the Early Cambrian animal radiation may have been triggered by a major change in ocean circulation, terminating a long period during which the Proterozoic ocean was stratified, with sulphidic deep water.
Martin Wille; Thomas F Nägler; Bernd Lehmann; Stefan Schröder; Jan D Kramers
Publication Detail:
Type:  Historical Article; Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2008-05-28
Journal Detail:
Title:  Nature     Volume:  453     ISSN:  1476-4687     ISO Abbreviation:  Nature     Publication Date:  2008 Jun 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2008-06-05     Completed Date:  2008-07-15     Revised Date:  2009-06-11    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0410462     Medline TA:  Nature     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  767-9     Citation Subset:  IM    
Institute of Geological Sciences, University of Bern, Baltzerstrasse 3, 3012 Bern, Switzerland.
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MeSH Terms
Geologic Sediments / chemistry
History, Ancient
Hydrogen Sulfide / metabolism*
Molybdenum / analysis
Oceans and Seas
Seawater / chemistry*
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Isotopes; 7439-98-7/Molybdenum; 7783-06-4/Hydrogen Sulfide
Comment In:
Nature. 2009 Jun 11;459(7248):E5-6; discussion E6   [PMID:  19516284 ]

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