Oxygenation of Early Atmosphere and Potential Stratigraphic Records from India

  • Joydip Mukhopadhyay
Part of the Springer Geology book series (SPRINGERGEOL)


Oxygenation of atmosphere had a profound role in the evolution of life from primitive anoxygenic heterotrophic life forms to oxygenic photoautotrophs and eventually to multicellular organized plant and animal kingdom. Plethora of geological and geochemical evidences particularly the occurrences of pyritiferous- and uraniferous-reduced paleoplacers, distribution of BIF through ages, Fe-depleted reduced paleosols and more importantly the mass-independent multiple sulphur isotope fractionation prior to 2.4 Ga great oxidation event (GOE) collectively suggest an oxygen-deficient atmosphere during the Archean. Recent research from paleosols older than 2.4 Ga and coeval marine sediments using REE-distribution pattern, redox-sensitive trace elements and fractionation of their isotopes indicates more than one attempt of pre-GOE oxygenation. More case studies from well-preserved paleosols and marine sedimentary sinks for trace metals from the Archean would bridge the gap in the record from pre-GOE to GOE oxygenation history. Peninsular India with nearly continuous stratigraphic successions from Paleoarchean to Paleoproterozoic time interval may be potential to study the pre-GOE to GOE transition of the atmosphere.


Oxygenation Atmosphere GOE Pre-GOE Paleosol Peninsular India 



The author is thankful to the series editors Profs. S.K. Tandon and Neal S. Gupta for inviting this article. The author acknowledges financial assistance from FRPDF grant from the Presidency University. DST-FIST and UGC-CAS laboratory facility at Department of Geology, Presidency University has been used.


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Authors and Affiliations

  • Joydip Mukhopadhyay
    • 1
  1. 1.UGC Centre for Advanced Studies, Department of GeologyPresidency UniversityKolkataIndia

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