Publication Type:

Journal Article


Precambrian ResearchPrecambrian Research, Elsevier, Amsterdam, International, Volume 230, p.168-178 (2013)




Canada, chemical composition, chemically precipitated rocks, geochemistry, glaciation, ICP mass spectra, iron formations, isotope ratios, Isotopes, life origin, lithostratigraphy, Marinoan, mass spectra, metals, Metazoa, mineral composition, molybdenum, neoproterozoic, northwest territories, paleoecology, paleoenvironment, Precambrian, proterozoic, rhenium, sedimentary petrology, Sedimentary rocks, spectra, textures, Trace elements, upper Precambrian, Western Canada, Yukon Territory


The Neoproterozoic was a major turning point in Earth's surficial history, recording several widespread glaciations, the first appearance of complex metazoan life, and a major increase in atmospheric oxygen. Marine redox proxies have resulted in many different estimates of both the timing and magnitude of the increase in free oxygen, although the consensus has been that it occurred following the Marinoan glaciation, the second globally recorded "snowball Earth" event. A critically understudied rock type of the Neoproterozoic is iron formation associated with the Sturtian (first) glaciation. Samples from the <716 Ma Rapitan iron formation were analysed for their Re concentrations and Mo isotopic composition to refine the redox history of its depositional basin. Rhenium concentrations and Re/Mo ratios are consistently low throughout the bottom and middle of the iron formation, reflecting ferruginous to oxic basinal conditions, but samples from the uppermost jasper layers of the iron formation show significantly higher Re concentrations and Re/Mo ratios, indicating that iron formation deposition was terminated by a shift towards a sulfidic water column. Similarly, the delta (super 98) Mo values are close to 0.0 ppm throughout most of the iron formation, but rise to approximately +0.7 ppm near the top of the section. The delta (super 98) Mo from samples of ferruginous to oxic basinal conditions are the product of adsorption to hematite, indicating that the Neoproterozoic open ocean may have had a delta (super 98) Mo of approximately 1.8 ppm. Together with the now well-established lack of a positive Eu anomaly in Neoproterozoic iron formations, these results suggest that the ocean was predominantly oxygenated at 700 Ma. Abstract Copyright (2013) Elsevier, B.V.


GeoRef, Copyright 2018, American Geological Institute.<br/>2013-053788<br/>Mo-98<br/>northwestern Northwest Territories<br/>Rapitan Group