Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Mesoproterozoic sulphidic ocean, delayed oxygenation and evolution of early life: sulphur isotope clues from Indian Proterozoic basins

  • A. SARKAR (a1), P. P. CHAKRABORTY (a2), B. MISHRA (a1), M. K. BERA (a1), P. SANYAL (a1) and S. PAUL (a3)...

Abstract

Analyses of sulphur isotope compositions in sedimentary pyrites from the Vindhyan, Chattisgarh and Cuddapah basins show heavy δ34S (> +25 ‰) values during the Mesoproterozoic. The data provide evidence in support of a hypothesized global Proterozoic sulphidic anoxic ocean where very low concentrations of marine sulphate, bacterially reduced in closed systems, produced δ34S values in pyrites similar to or even heavier than marine sulphate. The extreme environmental conditions induced by these anoxic oceans could have been responsible for the delayed oxygenation of the biosphere and retarded evolution of multicellular life.

Copyright

Corresponding author

Author for correspondence: anindya@gg.iitkgp.ernet.in

References

Hide All
Anbar, A. D. & Knoll, A. H. 2002. Proterozoic Ocean Chemistry and Evolution: A Bioinorganic Bridge? Science 297, 1137–42.
Arnold, G. L., Anbar, A. D., Barling, J. & Lyons, T. W. 2004. Molybdenum isotope evidence for widespread anoxia in mid-Proterozoic oceans. Science 304, 8790.
Azmy, K., Veizer, J., Misi, R., Olivia, T. De & Dardenne, M. 2001. Isotope stratigraphy of the Neoproterozoic carbonate of Vazante Formation Saõ Francisco Basin, Brazil. Precambrian Research 112, 303–29.
Banerjee, I. 1982. The Vindhyan tidal sea. In Geology of Vindhyachal (eds Valdiya, K. S., Bhatia, S. B. & Gaur, V. K.), pp. 80–7. New Delhi: Hindustan Publishing Corporation Press.
Banerjee, S., Dutta, S., Paikaray, S. & Mann, U. 2006. Stratigraphy, sedimentology and bulk organic geochemistry of black shales from the Proterozoic Vindhyan Supergroup (central India). Journal of Earth System Science 115, 3747.
Bartley, J. K. & Kah, L. C. 2004. Marine carbon reservoir, Corg–Ccarb coupling, and the evolution of the Proterozoic carbon cycle. Geology 32, 129–32.
Bartley, J. K., Knoll, A. H., Grotzinger, J. P. & Sergeev, V. N. 2000. Lithification and fabric genesis in precipitated stromatolites and associated peritidal carbonates, Mesoproterozoic Billyakh Group, Siberia. In Carbonate Sedimentation and Diagenesis in the Evolving Precambrian World (eds Grotzinger, J. P. & James, N. P.), pp. 5973. SEPM Special Publication no. 67. SEPM (Society for Sedimentary Geology).
Basu, H., Gangadharan, G. R., Kumar, S., Sharma, U. P., Rai, A. K. & Chaki, A. 2007. Sedimentary Facies of Gulcheru Quartzite in the Southwestern Part of the Cuddapah Basin and their Implication in Deciphering the Depositional Environment. Journal of Geological Society of India 69, 347–58.
Bengtson, S., Belivanova, V., Rasmussen, B. & Whitehouse, M. 2009. The controversial “Cambrian” fossils of the Vindhyan are real but more than a billion years older. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 106, 7729–34.
Berner, R. A. 1984. Sedimentary pyrite formation: an update. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 48, 605–15.
Bhaskar Rao, Y. J., Pantulu, G. V. C., Damodara Reddy, V. & Gopalan, K. 1995. Time of early sedimentation and volcanism in the Proterozoic Cuddapah basin, south India: evidence from the Rb–Sr age of the Pulivendla mafic sill. Geological Society of India Memoir 33, 329–38.
Bose, P. K. & Chaudhuri, A. 1990. Tide versus storm in Epeiric coastal deposition: Two Proterozoic sequences, India. Geological Journal 25, 81101.
Bose, P. K., Sarkar, S., Chakrabarty, S. & Banerjee, S. 2001. Overview of the Meso- to Neoproterozoic evolution of the Vindhyan basin, central India. Sedimentary Geology 141, 395419.
Bottrell, S. H. & Newton, R. J. 2006. Reconstruction of changes in global sulfur cycling from marine sulfate isotopes. Earth Science Reviews 75, 5983.
Brasier, M. D. & Lindsay, J. F. 1998. A billion years of environmental stability and the emergence of eukaryotes: New data from northern Australia. Geology 26, 555–8.
Brocks, J. J., Love, G. D., Summons, R. E., Knoll, A. H., Logan, G. A. & Bowden, S. A. 2005. Biomarker evidence for green and purple sulphur bacteria in a stratified Palaeoproterozoic sea. Nature 437, 866–70.
Buick, R. 2007. Did the Proterozoic ‘Canfield Ocean’ cause a laughing gas greenhouse? Geobiology 5, 97100.
Burns, S. J. & Matter, A. 1993. Carbon isotopic record of the latest Proterozoic from Oman. Eclogae Geologicae Helvetiae 86, 595607.
Canfield, D. E. 1998. A new model for Proterozoic ocean chemistry. Nature 396, 450–3.
Canfield, D. E. 2004. The evolution of the earth-surface sulphur reservoir. American Journal of Science 304, 839–61.
Canfield, D. E. & Raiswell, R. 1999. The evolution of the sulphur cycle. American Journal of Science 299, 697723.
Canfield, D. E. & Teske, A. 1996. Late Proterozoic rise in atmospheric oxygen concentration inferred from phylogenetic and sulphur-isotope studies. Nature 382, 127–32.
Chakraborty, C. 2006. Gutter casts from the Proterozoic Bijaygarh Shale Formation, India: Their implication for storm-induced circulation in shelf settings. Geological Journal 30, 6978.
Chakraborty, C. & Bose, P. K. 1990. Internal structures of sandwaves in a tide-storm interactive system: Proterozoic Lower Quartzite Formation, India. Sedimentary Geology 67, 133–42.
Chakraborty, P. P. & Paul, S. 2008. Forced regressive wedges on a Neoproterozoic siliciclastic shelf: Chandarpur Group, central India. Precambrian Research 162, 227–47.
Chakraborty, P. P., Sarkar, A., Bhattacharya, S. K. & Sanyal, P. 2002. Isotopic and sedimentological clues to productivity change in Late Riphean Sea: A case study from two intracratonic basins of India. Journal of Earth System Science 111, 379–90.
Chakraborty, P. P., Sarkar, A., Das, K. & Das, P. 2009. Fan-delta and storm-dominated shelf sedimentation in the Proterozoic Singhora Group, Chattisgarh Supergroup, central India. Precambrian Research 170, 88106.
Chalapathi Rao, N. V., Miller, J. A., Gibson, S. A., Pyle, D. M. & Madhavan, V. 1999. Precise Ar40/Ar39 age determinations of the Kotakonda kimberlite and Chelima lamproite, India: implication to the timing of mafic dyke swarm emplacement in the eastern Dharwar craton. Journal of Geological Society of India 53, 425–32.
Chanda, S. K. & Bhattacharya, A. 1982. Vindhyan sedimentation and paleogeography: post-Auden development. In Geology of Vindhyachal (eds Valdiya, K. S., Bhatia, S. B. & Gaur, V. K.), pp. 88101. New Delhi: Hindustan Publishing Corporation Press.
Chaudhuri, A. K., Saha, D., Deb, G. K., Patranabis Deb, S., Mukherjee, M. K. & Ghosh, G. 2002. The Purana basins of southern cratonic province of India – a case for Mesoproterozoic fossil rifts. Gondwana Research 5, 2333.
Clark, S. H. B., Pooleb, F. G. & Wang, Z. 2004. Comparison of some sediment-hosted, stratiform barite deposits in China, the United States, and India. Ore Geology Review 24, 85101.
Das, K., Yokoyama, K., Chakraborty, P. P. & Sarkar, A. 2009. Basal tuffs and contemporaneity of the Chattisgarh and Khariar Basins based on new dates and geochemistry. The Journal of Geology 117, 88102.
De, C. 2007. Study of the Proterozoic life of the Chhattisgarh basin, Chhattisgarh in the light of early organic evolution, biostratigraphy and paleoenvironments. Records of the Geological Survey of India 139, 23–4.
Des Marais, D. J., Strauss, H., Summons, R. E. & Hayes, J. M. 1992. Carbon isotope evidence for the stepwise oxidation of the Proterozoic environment. Nature 359, 605–9.
Eriksson, P. G., Condie, K. C., Tirsgaard, H., Mueller, W. U., Altermann, W., Miall, A. D., Aspler, L. B., Catuneanu, O. & Chiarenzelli, J. R. 1998. Precambrian clastic sedimentation systems. Sedimentary Geology 120, 553.
Fike, D. A., Grotzinger, J. P., Pratt, L. M. & Summons, R. E. 2006. Oxidation of the Ediacaran Ocean. Nature 444, 744–7.
Friedman, G. M., Sanders, J. E. & Kopaska-Merkel, D. C. 1992. Principles of sedimentary deposits. New York: Macmillan, 717 pp.
Gellatly, A. M. & Lyons, T. W. 2005. Trace sulfate in mid-Proterozoic carbonates and the sulfur isotope record of biospheric evolution. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 69, 3813–29.
Goldhaber, M. B. & Kaplan, I. R. 1974. The sulphur cycle. In The Sea (ed. Goldberg, E. D.), pp. 569655. Wiley-Interscience.
Guha, J. 1971. Sulphur isotope study of the pyrite deposit of Amjhore, Shahbad District, Bihar. India. Economic Geology 66, 326–30.
Helz, G. R., Miller, C. V., Charnock, J. M., Mosselmans, J. F. W., Pattrick, R. A. D., Garner, C. D. & Vaughan, D. J. 1996. Mechanism of molybdenum removal from the sea and its concentration in black shales: EXAFS evidence. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 60, 3631–42.
Hoffman, P. F., Kaufman, A. J., Halverson, G. P. & Schrag, D. P. 1998. A Neoproterozoic snowball earth. Science 281, 1342–6.
Holland, H. D. 1984. The Chemical Evolution of the Atmosphere and Oceans. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 583 pp.
Holland, H. D. & Beukes, N. 1990. A paleoweathering profile from Griqual and West, South Africa: evidence for a dramatic rise in atmospheric oxygen between 2.2 and 1.9 by B.P. American Journal of Science 290, 134.
Hurtgen, M. T., Arthur, M. A., Suits, N. S. & Kaufmann, A. J. 2002. The sulphur isotopic composition of Neoproterozoic seawater sulphate: implications for a snowball earth? Earth and Planetary Science Letters 203, 413–29.
Irwin, M. L. 1965. General theory of epeiric clear water sedimentation. American Association of Petroleum Geology Bulletin 49, 445–59.
Jensen, S., Droser, M. L. & Gehling, J. G. 2005. Trace fossil preservation and the early evolution of animals. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology Palaeoecology 220, 929.
Jørgensen, B. B. 1979. A theoretical model of the stable isotope distribution in marine sediments. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 43, 363–74.
Jørgensen, B. B. 1990. A thiosulfate shunt in the sulphur cycle of marine sediments. Science 249, 152–4.
Kah, L. C., Lyons, T. W. & Chesley, J. T. 2001. Geochemistry of a 1.2 Ga carbonate–evaporite Succession, Northern Baffin Islands: Implications for Mesoproterozoic Marine Evolution. Precambrian Research 111, 203–34.
Kah, L. C., Lyons, T. W. & Frank, T. D. 2004. Low marine sulphate and protracted oxygenation of the Proterozoic biosphere. Nature 431, 834–8.
Kah, L. C., Sherman, A. B., Narbonne, G. M., Kaufman, A. J., Knoll, A. H. & James, N. P. 1999. Isotope stratigraphy of the Mesoproterozoic Bylot Supergroup, Northern Baffin Island: Implications for regional lithostratigraphic correlations. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences 36, 313–32.
Kasting, J. F., Tazewell Howard, M., Wallmann, K., Veizer, J., Shields, G. & Jaffrés, J. 2006. Paleoclimates, ocean depth, and the oxygen isotopic composition of seawater. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 252, 8293.
Kiyosu, Y. & Krouse, H. R. 1990. The role of organic acid in the abiogenic reduction of sulfate and the sulfur isotope effect. Geochemical Journal 24, 21–7.
Knoll, A. H. 1992. Biological and biogeochemical preludes to the Ediacaran radiation, In Origin and Early Evolution of the Metazoa (eds Lipps, J. H. & Signor, P. W.), pp. 5384. New York: Plenum.
Krouse, H. R. 1977. Sulphur isotope studies and their role in petroleum exploration. Journal of Geochemical Exploration 7, 189211.
Lewis, B. L. & Landing, W. M. 1992. The investigation of dissolved and suspended-particulate trace metal fractionation in the Black Sea. Marine Chemistry 40, 105–41.
Logan, G. A., Hayes, J. M., Hieshima, G. B. & Summons, R. E. 1995. Terminal Proterozoic reorganization of biogeochemical cycles. Nature 376, 53–6.
Machel, H. G., Krouse, H. R. & Sassen, R. 1995. Products and distinguishing criteria of bacterial and thermochemical sulfate reduction. Applied Geochemistry 10, 373–89.
Malone, S. J., Meert, J. G., Banerjee, D. M., Pandit, M. K., Tamrat, E., Kamenov, G. D., Pradhan, V. R. & Sohl, L. E. 2008. Paleomagnetism and Detrital Zircon Geochronology of the Upper Vindhyan Sequence, Son Valley and Rajasthan, India: A ca. 1000 Ma closure age for the Purana Basins? Precambrian Research 164, 137–59.
Moitra, A. K. 1995. Depositional environmental history of the Chattisgarh basin, M. P., based on Stromatolites and Microbiota. Journal of Geological Society of India 46, 359–68.
Mukhopadhyay, J., Ghosh, G. & Nandi, A. K. 2006. Depositional setting of the Kolhan Group: its implications for the development of a Meso- to Neoproterozoic deep-water basin on the South Indian craton. South African Journal of Geology 109, 183–92.
Murti, K. S. 1987. Stratigraphy and sedimentation in Chhattisgarh Basin. In Purana Basins of Peninsular India (Middle to Late Proterozoic) (ed. Radhakrishna, B. P.), pp. 239–60. Geological Society of India, Memoir no. 6.
Nagaraja Rao, B. K., Rajurkar, S. T., Ramalingaswamy, G. & Ravindra Babu, B. 1987. Stratigraphy, structure and evolution of the Cuddapah basin. In Purana Basins of Peninsular India (Middle to Late Proterozoic) (ed. Radhakrishna, B. P.), pp. 3386. Geological Society of India, Memoir no. 6.
Ohmoto, H. & Rye, R. O. 1979. Isotopes of sulphur and carbon. In Geochemistry of Hydrothermal Ore Deposits, 2nd ed. (ed. Barnes, H. L.), pp. 509–67. Wiley.
Patranabis Deb, S. 2004. Lithostratigraphy of the Neoproterozoic Chattisgarh Sequence, its bearing on the tectonics and palaeogeography. Gondwana Research 7, 323–37.
Patranabis Deb, S., Bickford, M. E., Hill, B., Chaudhuri, A. K. & Basu, A. 2007. SHRIMP Ages of Zircon in the Uppermost Tuff in Chattisgarh Basin in Central India Require ~ 500-Ma Adjustment in Indian Proterozoic Stratigraphy. The Journal of Geology 115, 407–15.
Paul, S. & Chakraborty, P. P. 2003. Tidal sandwave geometry in Neoproterozoic epeiric sea: Examples from two basins of central India. Gondwana Geological Magazine 7, 349–61.
Poulton, S. W., Fralick, P. W. & Canfield, D. E. 2004. The transition to a sulphidic ocean ~1.84 billion years ago. Nature 431, 173–7.
Ramam, P. K. & Murthy, V. N. 1997. Geology of Andhra Pradesh. Geological Society of India, 245 pp.
Rasmussen, B., Bose, P. K., Sarkar, S., Banerjee, S., Fletcher, I. R. & McNaughton, N. J. 2002. 1.6 Ga U–Pb zircon age for the Chorhat Sandstone, Lower Vindhyan, India: possible implications for early evolution of animals. Geology 30, 103–6.
Ray, J. S. 2006. Age of the Vindhyan Supergroup: A review of recent findings. Journal of Earth System Science 115, 149–60.
Ray, J. S., Martin, M. W., Veizer, J. & Bowring, S. A. 2002. U–Pb zircon dating and Sr isotope systematics of the Vindhyan Supergroup, India. Geology 30, 131–4.
Ray, J. S., Veizer, J. & Davis, W. J. 2003. C, O, Sr and Pb isotope systematics of carbonate sequences of the Vindhyan Supergroup, India: age, diagenesis, correlations and implications for global events. Precambrian Research 121, 103–40.
Rees, C. E. 1973. A steady-state model for sulphur isotope fractionation in bacterial reduction. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 37, 1141–62.
Riciputi, L. R., Cole, D. R. & Machel, H. G. 1996. Sulphide formation in reservoir carbonates of the Devonian Nisku Formation, Alberta, Canada: An ion microprobe study. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 60, 325–36.
Sarangi, S., Gopalan, K. & Kumar, S. 2004. Pb–Pb age of earliest megascopic eukaryotic alga bearing Rohtas Formation, Vindhyan Supergroup, India: Implications for Precambrian atmospheric oxygen evolution. Precambrian Research 132, 107–21.
Sawlowicz, Z. 1993. Pyrite framboids and their development: a new conceptual mechanism. International Journal of Earth Science 82, 148–56.
Schwarcz, H. P. & Burnie, S. W. 1973. Influence of sedimentary environments on sulfur isotope ratios in clastic rocks: a review. Mineralium Deposita 8, 264–77.
Seilacher, A., Bose, P. K. & Pflüger, F. 1998. Triploblastic animals more than 1 billion years ago: trace fossil evidence from India. Science 282, 80–3.
Sharma, R., Verma, P. & Law, R. W. 2006. Sulphur isotopic study on barite mineralization of the Tons valley, Lesser Himalaya, India: Implication for source and formation process. Current Science 90, 440–3.
Shaw, A. B. 1964. Time in stratigraphy. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Shen, Y., Canfield, D. E. & Knoll, A. H. 2002. Middle Proterozoic ocean chemistry: evidence from the McArthur Basin, northern Australia. American Journal of Science 302, 81109.
Shields, G. & Veizer, J. 2002. Precambrian marine carbonate isotope database: version 1.1. Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems 3, U1U12.
Sinha, D. K., Raju, K. A., Bhaskar, D. V. & Asha, K. 2001. Sulphur isotopic characteristics of pyrite and galena from the Singhora Group, Chattisgarh Supergroup, India, genetic implications. Journal of the Geological Society of India 57, 171–7.
Strauss, H. 1997. The isotopic composition of sedimentary sulphur through time. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology Palaeoecology 132, 97118.
Strauss, H. 1999. Geological evolution from isotope proxy signals – sulphur. Chemical Geology 161, 89–10.
Strauss, H. & Schieber, J. 1990. A sulphur isotope study of pyrite genesis: The Mid-Proterozoic Newland Formation, Belt Supergroup, Montana. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 54, 197204.
Sumner, D. Y. & Grotzinger, J. P. 1996. Were kinetics of Archean calcium carbonate precipitation related to oxygen concentration? Geology 24, 119–22.
Sur, S., Schieber, J. & Banerjee, S. 2004. The Bijaygarh and Rampur shales of the Vindhyan Supergroup, India: Transgressive system tract source rocks of Mid-Proterozoic age. Abstract American Association of Petroleum Geology Annual Meeting, Utah 14, A165.
Sur, S., Schieber, J. & Banerjee, S. 2006. Petrographic observations suggestive of microbial mats from Rampur Shale and Bijaigarh Shale, Vindhyan basin, India. Journal of Earth System Science 115, 61–6.
Zachariah, J. K., Bhaskar Rao, Y. J., Srinivasan, R. & Gopalan, K. 1999. Pb, Sr and Nd isotope systematics of uranium mineralized stromatolitic dolomites from the Proterozoic Cuddapah Supergroup, south India: constraints on age and provenance. Chemical Geology 162, 4964.

Keywords

Mesoproterozoic sulphidic ocean, delayed oxygenation and evolution of early life: sulphur isotope clues from Indian Proterozoic basins

  • A. SARKAR (a1), P. P. CHAKRABORTY (a2), B. MISHRA (a1), M. K. BERA (a1), P. SANYAL (a1) and S. PAUL (a3)...

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed