Great acidification of the Earth may be due to the weathering of rocks

(ORDO NEWS) — Scientists at the University of Arizona have found an explanation for the ancient natural disaster of the Earth. The Earth’s Great Oxidation may be due to the weathering of rocks, reports Nature Communications.

The Oxygen Catastrophe, otherwise known as the Great Oxidation Event, occurred on Earth 2.4 billion years ago. Before her, the planet had much less molecular oxygen.

After these global events, the development of modern life forms became possible, according to the online publication Planet Today.

Scientists from the University of Arizona said that the oxygen catastrophe could have occurred due to the weathering of rocks.

Molecular oxygen is produced by plants and some microorganisms, but a significant part of it was spent on the oxidation of sulfur, iron, carbon and other natural elements. However, the efficiency of these processes could be reduced due to weathering.

To test the hypothesis, scientists studied the “ultramarine”, which is an ultrabasic breed. It is rich in magnesium and iron, but low in silica. Such substances make up a significant part of the Earth’s upper mantle.

Thanks to computer modeling, it has become possible to detect a relationship between the composition of rocks and their oxygen consumption. As it turned out, it was the weathering of ultramafic rocks that contributed to the oxygen catastrophe.


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