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The Upside-Down Biosphere: Evidence for the Partially Oxygenated Oceans During the Archean EonThis is a commentary on the preceding chapter by Ohmoto et al., in which it is suggested that oxygen concentrations have been high throughout Earth history. This is a contentious suggestion at odds with the prevailing view in the field, which contends that atmospheric oxygen concentrations rose from trace levels to a few percent of modern-day levels around 2.5 b.y. ago. This comment notes that many of the data sets cited by Ohmoto et al. as evidence for a relatively oxidized environment come from deep-ocean settings. This presents a possibility to reconcile some of these data and suggestions with the overwhelming evidence for an atmosphere free of oxygen at that time. Specifically, it is possible that deep-ocean waters were relatively oxidized with respect to certain redox pairs. These deep-ocean waters would have been more oxidized than surface waters, thus representing an "upside-down biosphere," as originally proposed 25 years ago by Jim Walker.
Document ID
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
Domagal-Goldman, Shawn (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD United States)
Date Acquired
May 3, 2016
Publication Date
January 1, 2014
Publication Information
Publication: The Geological Society of America Special Papers
Volume: 504
ISSN: 0072-1077
Subject Category
Report/Patent Number
Distribution Limits
oxygenated oceans
deep-ocean waters
archean eon