The terrestrial record of stable sulphur isotopes: a review of the implications for evolution of Earth’s sulphur cycle
Published:January 01, 2005
James Farquhar, Boswell A. Wing, 2005. "The terrestrial record of stable sulphur isotopes: a review of the implications for evolution of Earth’s sulphur cycle", Mineral Deposits and Earth Evolution, I. McDonald, A. J. Boyce, I. B. Butler, R. J. Herrington, D. A. Polya
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The observation of anomalous (non mass-dependent) sulphur isotope compositions in Archaean and early Proterozoic rocks but not in rocks younger than approximately 2 Ga has been interpreted to reflect fundamental change in the terrestrial sulphur cycle, in atmospheric chemistry, and in atmospheric oxygen content. Similar non mass-dependent sulphur isotope compositions in present-day samples (atmospheric aerosols and ice-core horizons containing remnants of stratosphere-piercing volcanic eruptions) are interpreted to carry information about modern atmospheric chemistry and transport. The interpretation of these observations hinges on our understanding of the processes that produce non mass-dependent sulphur isotope compositions, the processes that transport and transfer the isotopic signals throughout the sulphur cycle, and the processes that act to preserve or erase these isotopic signals once they are established. The growing dataset and hypotheses related to non mass-dependent sulphur are evaluated, emphasizing that which remains to be learned about the evolution of the record, the compositions of key reservoirs, and the transfer of the signal from the atmosphere to the surface and ultimately to the deep Earth.
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Mineral Deposits and Earth Evolution
Mineral deposits are not only primary sources of wealth generation, but also act as windows through which to view the evolution and interrelationships of the Earth system.
Deposits formed throughout the last 3.8 billion years of the Earth’s history preserve key evidence with which to test fundamental questions about the evolution of the Earth. These include: the nature of early magmatic and tectonic processes, supercontinent reconstructions, the state of the atmosphere and hydrosphere with time, and the emergence and development of life. The interlinking processes that form mineral deposits have always sat at the heart of the Earth system and the potential for using deposits as tools to understand that evolving system over geological time is increasingly recognized. This volume contains research aimed both at understanding the origins of mineral deposits and at using mineral deposits as tools to explore different long-term Earth processes.