The Soda Ocean Concept and Its Bearing on Biotic Evolution

  • Stephan Kempe
  • Józef Kazmierczak
  • Egon T. Degens


The soda ocean hypothesis (Kempe & Degens, 1985) suggests an early alkaline ocean of high pH and low calcium and magnesium concentrations. The dissolved carbonates were gradually lost during the Precambrian, leaving the present sodium chloride ocean. The Precambrian paleontological record and the calcium physiology of living cells implicate that the stepwisebuildup of calcium in the ancient ocean was of primary importance for the generation of multicellular life and the onset of biocalcification.


Total Alkalinity Acid Ocean Soda Lake East African Rift Thalassiosira Pseudonana 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephan Kempe
    • 1
  • Józef Kazmierczak
    • 2
  • Egon T. Degens
    • 1
  1. 1.SCOPE/UNEP International Carbon Unit, Geological-Paleontological InstituteUniversity of HamburgHamburg 13Federal Republic of Germany
  2. 2.Institute of PaleobiologyPolish Academy of ScienceWarszawaPoland

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