2014 Annual Science Report
Pennsylvania State University Reporting | SEP 2013 – DEC 2014
Biosignatures in Ancient Rocks - Kump Group
We are analyzing FAR-DEEP cores that span the putative “oxygen overshoot” associated with the termination of the Great Oxidation Event, 2.0 billion years ago. The volcanic rocks in question are highly oxidized. Our hypothesis is that oxygen-enriched groundwaters altered these rocks during a time interval when atmospheric oxygen concentrations approached modern levels, falling subsequently to lower values characteristic of the ensuing billion years. Kump has also proposed a new explanation for the “second rise of atmospheric oxygen” in the Neoproterozoic (ca. 850 Ma).
Kyle has been visiting various laboratories, including the U. Wisc. Isotope lab run by Clark Johnson, to establish the chronology and behavior of U, Th, Pb, and Cr isotopes during this event. He has also conducted geochemical and petrographic analyses of the assembled cores.
PROJECT MEMBERS:Lee Kump
RELATED OBJECTIVES:Objective 1.1
Formation and evolution of habitable planets.
Earth's early biosphere.
Production of complex life.
Effects of extraterrestrial events upon the biosphere
Co-evolution of microbial communities
Effects of environmental changes on microbial ecosystems