Researchers working with samples from China have provided new details about ocean-redox conditions during the Ediacaran (635 to 541 million years ago (Mya)). The team measured iron species, trace- and major-element concentrations, TOC, and Corg/P ratios of black shale from six high-resolution sections. The results highlight the importance of using multiple proxies to interpret ancient ocean-redox conditions, and provide clues as to why previous studies have presented conflicting interpretations of redox in the early Ediacaran.

The study, “Highly heterogeneous “poikiloredox” conditions in the early Ediacaran Yangtze Sea,” was published in the journal Precambrian Research. The work was supported by NASA Astrobiology through the Exobiology Program.