Publications by authors named "Ganqing Jiang"

8 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Subglacial meltwater supported aerobic marine habitats during Snowball Earth.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2019 12 2;116(51):25478-25483. Epub 2019 Dec 2.

Department of Geology and Geophysics, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06511.

The Earth's most severe ice ages interrupted a crucial interval in eukaryotic evolution with widespread ice coverage during the Cryogenian Period (720 to 635 Ma). Aerobic eukaryotes must have survived the "Snowball Earth" glaciations, requiring the persistence of oxygenated marine habitats, yet evidence for these environments is lacking. We examine iron formations within globally distributed Cryogenian glacial successions to reconstruct the redox state of the synglacial oceans. Iron isotope ratios and cerium anomalies from a range of glaciomarine environments reveal pervasive anoxia in the ice-covered oceans but increasing oxidation with proximity to the ice shelf grounding line. We propose that the outwash of subglacial meltwater supplied oxygen to the synglacial oceans, creating glaciomarine oxygen oases. The confluence of oxygen-rich meltwater and iron-rich seawater may have provided sufficient energy to sustain chemosynthetic communities. These processes could have supplied the requisite oxygen and organic carbon source for the survival of early animals and other eukaryotic heterotrophs through these extreme glaciations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1909165116DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6926012PMC
December 2019

Chemostratigraphic correlations across the first major trilobite extinction and faunal turnovers between Laurentia and South China.

Sci Rep 2019 11 22;9(1):17392. Epub 2019 Nov 22.

Institut für Geologie, Technische Universität Bergakademie Freiberg, Bernhard-von-Cotta-Straße 2, D-09599, Freiberg, Germany.

During Cambrian Stage 4 (~514 Ma) the oceans were widely populated with endemic trilobites and three major faunas can be distinguished: olenellids, redlichiids, and paradoxidids. The lower-middle Cambrian boundary in Laurentia was based on the first major trilobite extinction event that is known as the Olenellid Biomere boundary. However, international correlation across this boundary (the Cambrian Series 2-Series 3 boundary) has been a challenge since the formal proposal of a four-series subdivision of the Cambrian System in 2005. Recently, the base of the international Cambrian Series 3 and of Stage 5 has been named as the base of the Miaolingian Series and Wuliuan Stage. This study provides detailed chemostratigraphy coupled with biostratigraphy and sequence stratigraphy across this critical boundary interval based on eight sections in North America and South China. Our results show robust isotopic evidence associated with major faunal turnovers across the Cambrian Series 2-Series 3 boundary in both Laurentia and South China. While the olenellid extinction event in Laurentia and the gradual extinction of redlichiids in South China are linked by an abrupt negative carbonate carbon excursion, the first appearance datum of Oryctocephalus indicus is currently the best horizon to achieve correlation between the two regions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-53685-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6874646PMC
November 2019

The onset of widespread marine red beds and the evolution of ferruginous oceans.

Nat Commun 2017 08 30;8(1):399. Epub 2017 Aug 30.

State Key Laboratory of Biogeology and Environmental Geology, China University of Geosciences, Beijing, 100083, China.

Banded iron formations were a prevalent feature of marine sedimentation ~3.8-1.8 billion years ago and they provide key evidence for ferruginous oceans. The disappearance of banded iron formations at ~1.8 billion years ago was traditionally taken as evidence for the demise of ferruginous oceans, but recent geochemical studies show that ferruginous conditions persisted throughout the later Precambrian, and were even a feature of Phanerozoic ocean anoxic events. Here, to reconcile these observations, we track the evolution of oceanic Fe-concentrations by considering the temporal record of banded iron formations and marine red beds. We find that marine red beds are a prominent feature of the sedimentary record since the middle Ediacaran (~580 million years ago). Geochemical analyses and thermodynamic modelling reveal that marine red beds formed when deep-ocean Fe-concentrations were > 4 nM. By contrast, banded iron formations formed when Fe-concentrations were much higher (> 50 μM). Thus, the first widespread development of marine red beds constrains the timing of deep-ocean oxygenation.The evolution of oceanic redox state in the past is poorly known. Here, the authors present a temporal record of banded iron formations and marine red beds, which indicate deep-ocean oxygenation occurred in the middle Ediacaran, coinciding with the onset of widespread marine red beds.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-017-00502-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5577183PMC
August 2017

Time-calibrated Milankovitch cycles for the late Permian.

Nat Commun 2013 ;4:2452

1] State Key Laboratory of Biogeology and Environmental Geology, China University of Geosciences, Beijing 100083, China [2] School of Ocean Sciences, China University of Geosciences, Beijing 100083, China.

An important innovation in the geosciences is the astronomical time scale. The astronomical time scale is based on the Milankovitch-forced stratigraphy that has been calibrated to astronomical models of paleoclimate forcing; it is defined for much of Cenozoic-Mesozoic. For the Palaeozoic era, however, astronomical forcing has not been widely explored because of lack of high-precision geochronology or astronomical modelling. Here we report Milankovitch cycles from late Permian (Lopingian) strata at Meishan and Shangsi, South China, time calibrated by recent high-precision U-Pb dating. The evidence extends empirical knowledge of Earth's astronomical parameters before 250 million years ago. Observed obliquity and precession terms support a 22-h length-of-day. The reconstructed astronomical time scale indicates a 7.793-million year duration for the Lopingian epoch, when strong 405-kyr cycles constrain astronomical modelling. This is the first significant advance in defining the Palaeozoic astronomical time scale, anchored to absolute time, bridging the Palaeozoic-Mesozoic transition.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ncomms3452DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3778519PMC
April 2014

Ocean oxygenation in the wake of the Marinoan glaciation.

Nature 2012 Sep;489(7417):546-9

Department of Geoscience, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Nevada 89154, USA.

Metazoans are likely to have their roots in the Cryogenian period, but there is a marked increase in the appearance of novel animal and algae fossils shortly after the termination of the late Cryogenian (Marinoan) glaciation about 635 million years ago. It has been suggested that an oxygenation event in the wake of the severe Marinoan glaciation was the driving factor behind this early diversification of metazoans and the shift in ecosystem complexity. But there is little evidence for an increase in oceanic or atmospheric oxygen following the Marinoan glaciation, or for a direct link between early animal evolution and redox conditions in general. Models linking trends in early biological evolution to shifts in Earth system processes thus remain controversial. Here we report geochemical data from early Ediacaran organic-rich black shales (∼635-630 million years old) of the basal Doushantuo Formation in South China. High enrichments of molybdenum and vanadium and low pyrite sulphur isotope values (Δ(34)S values ≥65 per mil) in these shales record expansion of the oceanic inventory of redox-sensitive metals and the growth of the marine sulphate reservoir in response to a widely oxygenated ocean. The data provide evidence for an early Ediacaran oxygenation event, which pre-dates the previous estimates for post-Marinoan oxygenation by more than 50 million years. Our findings seem to support a link between the most severe glaciations in Earth's history, the oxygenation of the Earth's surface environments, and the earliest diversification of animals.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature11445DOI Listing
September 2012

Mineralogical constraints on the paleoenvironments of the Ediacaran Doushantuo Formation.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2009 Aug 29;106(32):13190-5. Epub 2009 Jul 29.

Department of Earth Sciences, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521, USA.

Assemblages of clay minerals are routinely used as proxies for paleoclimatic change and paleoenvironmental conditions in Phanerozoic rocks. However, this tool is rarely applied in older sedimentary units. In this paper, the clay mineralogy of the Doushantuo Formation in South China is documented, providing constraints on depositional conditions of the Ediacaran Yangtze platform that host the earliest animal fossils in the geological record. In multiple sections from the Yangtze Gorges area, trioctahedral smectite (saponite) and its diagenetic products (mixed-layer chlorite/smectite, corrensite, and chlorite) are the dominant clays through the lower 80 m of the formation and constitute up to 30 wt% of the bulk rock. Saponite is interpreted as an in situ early diagenetic phase that formed in alkaline conditions (pH > or = 9). The absence of saponite in stratigraphically equivalent basin sections, 200-400 km to the south, indicates that alkaline conditions were localized in a nonmarine basin near the Yangtze Gorges region. This interpretation is consistent with crustal abundances of redox-sensitive trace elements in saponitic mudstones deposited under anoxic conditions, as well as a 10 per thousand difference in the carbon isotope record between Yangtze Gorges and basin sections. Our findings suggest that nonmarine environments may have been hospitable for the fauna preserved in the Yangtze Gorges, which includes the oldest examples of animal embryo fossils and acanthomorphic acritarchs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.0901080106DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2726375PMC
August 2009

Pulsed oxidation and biological evolution in the Ediacaran Doushantuo Formation.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2008 Mar 25;105(9):3197-202. Epub 2008 Feb 25.

Department of Geosciences, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA 24061, USA.

Recent geochemical data from Oman, Newfoundland, and the western United States suggest that long-term oxidation of Ediacaran oceans resulted in progressive depletion of a large dissolved organic carbon (DOC) reservoir and potentially triggered the radiation of acanthomorphic acritarchs, algae, macroscopic Ediacara organisms, and, subsequently, motile bilaterian animals. However, the hypothesized coupling between ocean oxidation and evolution is contingent on the reliability of continuous geochemical and paleontological data in individual sections and of intercontinental correlations. Here we report high-resolution geochemical data from the fossil-rich Doushantuo Formation (635-551 Ma) in South China that confirm trends from other broadly equivalent sections and highlight key features that have not been observed in most sections or have received little attention. First, samples from the lower Doushantuo Formation are characterized by remarkably stable delta(13)C(org) (carbon isotope composition of organic carbon) values but variable delta(34)S(CAS) (sulfur isotope composition of carbonate-associated sulfate) values, which are consistent with a large isotopically buffered DOC reservoir and relatively low sulfate concentrations. Second, there are three profound negative delta(13)C(carb) (carbon isotope composition of carbonate) excursions in the Ediacaran Period. The negative delta(13)C(carb) excursions in the middle and upper Doushantuo Formation record pulsed oxidation of the deep oceanic DOC reservoir. The oxidation events appear to be coupled with eukaryote diversity in the Doushantuo basin. Comparison with other early Ediacaran basins suggests spatial heterogeneity of eukaryote distribution and redox conditions. We hypothesize that the distribution of early Ediacaran eukaryotes likely tracked redox conditions and that only after approximately 551 Ma (when Ediacaran oceans were pervasively oxidized) did evolution of oxygen-requiring taxa reach global distribution.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.0708336105DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2265117PMC
March 2008

Stable isotopic evidence for methane seeps in Neoproterozoic postglacial cap carbonates.

Nature 2003 Dec;426(6968):822-6

Department of Earth Sciences, University of California, Riverside, California 92521, USA.

The Earth's most severe glaciations are thought to have occurred about 600 million years ago, in the late Neoproterozoic era. A puzzling feature of glacial deposits from this interval is that they are overlain by 1-5-m-thick 'cap carbonates' (particulate deep-water marine carbonate rocks) associated with a prominent negative carbon isotope excursion. Cap carbonates have been controversially ascribed to the aftermath of almost complete shutdown of the ocean ecosystems for millions of years during such ice ages--the 'snowball Earth' hypothesis. Conversely, it has also been suggested that these carbonate rocks were the result of destabilization of methane hydrates during deglaciation and concomitant flooding of continental shelves and interior basins. The most compelling criticism of the latter 'methane hydrate' hypothesis has been the apparent lack of extreme isotopic variation in cap carbonates inferred locally to be associated with methane seeps. Here we report carbon isotopic and petrographic data from a Neoproterozoic postglacial cap carbonate in south China that provide direct evidence for methane-influenced processes during deglaciation. This evidence lends strong support to the hypothesis that methane hydrate destabilization contributed to the enigmatic cap carbonate deposition and strongly negative carbon isotopic anomalies following Neoproterozoic ice ages. This explanation requires less extreme environmental disturbance than that implied by the snowball Earth hypothesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature02201DOI Listing
December 2003