Transient marine euxinia at the end of the terminal Cryogenian glaciation
Kaufman, Alan Jay
Crockford, Peter W.
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Termination of the terminal Cryogenian Marinoan snowball Earth glaciation (similar to 650-635 Ma) is associated with the worldwide deposition of a cap carbonate. Modeling studies suggest that, during and immediately following deglaciation, the ocean may have experienced a rapid rise in pH and physical stratification followed by oceanic overturn. Testing these predictions requires the establishment of a high-resolution sequence of events within sedimentary records. Here we report the conspicuous occurrence of pyrite concretions in the topmost Nantuo Formation ( South China) that was deposited in the Marinoan glacial deposits. Sedimentary facies and sulfur isotope data indicate pyrite precipitation in the sediments with H2S diffusing from the overlying sulfidic/euxinic seawater and Fe (II) from diamictite sediments. These observations suggest a transient but widespread presence of marine euxinia in an ocean characterized by redox stratification, high bioproductivity, and high-fluxes of sulfate from chemical weathering before the deposition of the cap carbonate.