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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. and Smith, M. Paul and Rasmussen, Jan A. and Nielsen, Arne T. and Canfield, Donald E. and Harper, David A. T. (2019) 'The Sirius Passet Lagerstätte of North Greenland—a geochemical window on early Cambrian low‐oxygen environments and ecosystems.', Geobiology., 17 (1). pp. 12-26.

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.

Item Type:Article
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Available under License - Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial.
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Full text:(VoR) Version of Record
Available under License - Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial.
Download PDF
(2523Kb)
Full text:(VoR) Version of Record
Available under License - Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial.
Download PDF
(2523Kb)
Status:Peer-reviewed
Publisher Web site:https://doi.org/10.1111/gbi.12315
Publisher statement:© 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.
Date accepted:22 August 2018
Date deposited:01 October 2018
Date of first online publication:27 September 2018
Date first made open access:No date available

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