Am J Sci 1989 Apr;289(4):333-61
Department of Geology and Geophysics, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut 06511, USA.
A mathematical model has been constructed that enables calculation of the level of atmospheric O2 over the past 570 my from rates of burial and weathering of organic carbon (C) and pyrite sulfur (S). Burial rates as a function of time are calculated from an assumed constant worldwide clastic sedimentation rate and the relative abundance, and C and S contents, of the three rock types: marine sandstones and shales, coal basin sediments, and other non-marine clastics (red beds, arkoses). By our model, values of O2 versus time, using a constant total sedimentation rate, agree with those for variable sedimentation derived from present-day rock abundances and estimates of erosional losses since deposition. Read More