2008 Annual Science Report
Massachusetts Institute of Technology Reporting | JUL 2007 – JUN 2008
We have begun a major effort to constrain one of the largest shifts in the isotopic composition of seawater carbonate carbon in earth history, the Shuram anomaly. At present the MIT group feels that the best global correlations make the age of the anomaly younger than 580 Ma but older than 550 Ma. Others have suggested that the age of it is much closer to 620 Ma. This is an important difference given that the fossil record also suggests that the anomaly is related to diversification and development of complexity in animals. Our work has just begun but shows that the anomaly is younger than ca 610 Ma and we hope to analyze as many as 100 grains of zircon in the coming months.
PROJECT INVESTIGATORS:Samuel Bowring
RELATED OBJECTIVES:Objective 4.2
Foundations of complex life