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The Sirius Passet Lagerstätte of North Greenland—A geochemical window on early Cambrian low‐oxygen environments and ecosystems

Hammarlund, Emma U.; Smith, M. Paul; Rasmussen, Jan A.; Nielsen, Arne T.; Canfield, Donald E.; Harper, David A.T.

The Sirius Passet Lagerstätte of North Greenland—A geochemical window on early Cambrian low‐oxygen environments and ecosystems Thumbnail


Authors

Emma U. Hammarlund

M. Paul Smith

Jan A. Rasmussen

Arne T. Nielsen

Donald E. Canfield



Abstract

The early Cambrian Sirius Passet fauna of northernmost Greenland (Cambrian Series 2, Stage 3) contains exceptionally preserved soft tissues that provide an important window to early animal evolution, while the surrounding sediment holds critical data on the palaeodepositional water‐column chemistry. The present study combines palaeontological data with a multiproxy geochemical approach based on samples collected in situ at high stratigraphic resolution from Sirius Passet. After careful consideration of chemical alterations during burial, our results demonstrate that fossil preservation and biodiversity show significant correlation with iron enrichments (FeHR/FeT), trace metal behaviour (V/Al), and changes in nitrogen cycling (δ15N). These data, together with Mo/Al and the preservation of organic carbon (TOC), are consistent with a water column that was transiently low in oxygen concentration, or even intermittently anoxic. When compared with the biogeochemical characteristics of modern oxygen minimum zones (OMZs), geochemical and palaeontological data collectively suggest that oxygen concentrations as low as 0.2–0.4 ml/L restricted bioturbation but not the development of a largely nektobenthic community of predators and scavengers. We envisage for the Sirius Passet biota a depositional setting where anoxic water column conditions developed and passed over the depositional site, possibly in association with sea‐level change, and where this early Cambrian biota was established in conditions with very low oxygen.

Citation

Hammarlund, E. U., Smith, M. P., Rasmussen, J. A., Nielsen, A. T., Canfield, D. E., & Harper, D. A. (2019). The Sirius Passet Lagerstätte of North Greenland—A geochemical window on early Cambrian low‐oxygen environments and ecosystems. Geobiology, 17(1), 12-26. https://doi.org/10.1111/gbi.12315

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Aug 22, 2018
Online Publication Date Sep 27, 2018
Publication Date Jan 31, 2019
Deposit Date Sep 28, 2018
Publicly Available Date Oct 1, 2018
Journal Geobiology
Print ISSN 1472-4677
Electronic ISSN 1472-4669
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 17
Issue 1
Pages 12-26
DOI https://doi.org/10.1111/gbi.12315

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Publisher Licence URL
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/

Copyright Statement
Advance online version © 2018 The Authors. Geobiology Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution‐NonCommercial License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited and is not used for commercial purposes.




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