Microbial sulphate reduction during Neoproterozoic glaciation, Port Askaig Formation, UK

Parnell, J. and Boyce, A. J. (2017) Microbial sulphate reduction during Neoproterozoic glaciation, Port Askaig Formation, UK. Journal of the Geological Society, 174(5), pp. 850-854. (doi: 10.1144/jgs2016-147)

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The Neoproterozoic Port Askaig Formation contains widespread pyrite within many diamictite beds, across Scotland and Ireland. The quantity of pyrite is anomalous for coarse-grained rocks, especially in rocks deposited at a time when seawater contained low sulphate levels owing to a continental ice cover, which inhibited weathering. Sulphur isotope compositions evolve from lightest values (down to −3.1‰) at the base of the formation to highly positive compositions in the overlying Bonahaven Dolomite (mean +44.8‰). This trend is consistent with progressive utilization of available sulphate by closed-system microbial sulphate reduction. Together with records from other contemporary diamictite successions, there emerges a picture of global microbial activity during Neoproterozoic ‘Snowball Earth’ glaciation.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:A.J.B. is funded by Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) support of the Isotope Community Support Facility at SUERC. J.P. was supported by NERC grant NE/L001764/1.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Boyce, Professor Adrian
Authors: Parnell, J., and Boyce, A. J.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre
Journal Name:Journal of the Geological Society
Publisher:Geological Society of London
ISSN (Online):2041-479X
Published Online:15 May 2017

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