New constraints on Precambrian ocean composition

J. P. Grotzinger, J. F. Kasting

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

340 Scopus citations


The Precambrian record of carbonate and evaporite sedimentation is equivocal. In contrast to most previous interpretations, it is possible that Archean, Paleoproterozoic, and to a lesser extent, Meso to Neoproterozoic seawater favored surplus abiotic carbonate precipitation, as aragonite and (hi-Mg?) calcite, in comparison to younger times. Furthermore, gypsum/anhydrite may have been only rarely precipitated prior to halite precipitation during evaporation prior to about 1.8 Ga. The pH of the Archean and Paleoproterozoic ocean need not have been significantly different from the modern value of 8.1, even at CO2 partial pressures of a tenth of an atmosphere. -from Authors

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)235-243
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Geology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1993

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geology


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