Space Science: The Environments Of Early Complex Life
Posted on Apr 6, 2021 by NASA
Description: The evolution of multicellular life occurred during a period of Earth history characterized by profound global change in the operation of Earth's biosphere. Geochemical records preserved in sedimentary rocks provide critical indicators of unprecedented shifts in the redox state of the ocean and atmosphere and the climate system at this time. To fully understand these changes and their potential influence on biology and global biogeochemical cycles requires detailed reconstructions of paleoenvironmental conditions from the rocks that are examined. The potential influence of post-depositional alteration must also be considered during interpretation of geochemical signals. To this end, this project involves developing mineralogical and geochemical tools for identifying the depositional conditions and environments of Precambrian sedimentary rocks and distinguishing primary versus secondary geochemical signals.