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dc.contributor.authorYang, Jie
dc.contributor.authorJunium, Chris
dc.contributor.authorGrassineau, Nathalie
dc.contributor.authorNisbet, Euan
dc.contributor.authorIzon, Gareth James
dc.contributor.authorMettam, Colin William
dc.contributor.authorMartin, Anthony
dc.contributor.authorZerkle, Aubrey L.
dc.identifier.citationYang , J , Junium , C , Grassineau , N , Nisbet , E , Izon , G J , Mettam , C W , Martin , A & Zerkle , A L 2019 , ' Ammonium availability in the Late Archaean nitrogen cycle ' , Nature Geoscience , vol. 12 , no. 7 , pp. 553-557 .
dc.identifier.otherORCID: /0000-0003-2324-1619/work/60427941
dc.descriptionThis study was supported financially by Natural Environment Research Council Standard Grants NE/M001156/1 (to ALZ, EN, and NG) and NE/J023485/2 (to ALZ), and National Science Foundation NSF EAR-1455258 (to CKJ). GI acknowledges continued support from the Simons Foundation (SCOL:290361).en
dc.description.abstractThe bioavailability of essential nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus has fluctuated with the chemical evolution of Earth surface environments over geological timescales. However, significant uncertainty remains over the evolution of Earth’s early nitrogen cycle, particularly how and when it responded to the evolution of oxygenic photosynthesis. Here we apply multi-proxy geochemical analyses (Fe speciation, δ13C and δ15N) to exceptionally well-preserved shales from the approximately 2.7 billion year old Manjeri Formation in the Belingwe Greenstone Belt, Zimbabwe, to evaluate the redox status of Earth’s early nitrogen cycle and decipher feedbacks associated with the initial stages of planetary oxygenation. These continental shelf sediments were previously linked to early cyanobacterial oxygen production, and provide a direct test of conflicting hypotheses concerning the importance of nitrogen oxyanions in the Late Archaean era. Our data reveal a dominantly anaerobic marine nitrogen cycle in which ammonium-replete ferruginous waters underlay an ephemeral oxygen oasis. Driven by the emergence of oxygenic photosynthesis, increased primary productivity could have periodically strengthened export production, which allowed for the accumulation of ammonium in the water column during organic matter degradation. Restricted oxygen availability could have allowed the upwelling ammonium to reach the photic zone to provide ample nitrogen to fuel a prolific Late Archaean biosphere.
dc.relation.ispartofNature Geoscienceen
dc.subjectGE Environmental Sciencesen
dc.subjectSDG 14 - Life Below Wateren
dc.titleAmmonium availability in the Late Archaean nitrogen cycleen
dc.typeJournal articleen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews. St Andrews Centre for Exoplanet Scienceen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews. School of Earth & Environmental Sciencesen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews. St Andrews Isotope Geochemistryen
dc.description.statusPeer revieweden

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