New ages for the biological, geochemical and climatic upheavals of the Neoproterozoic
From University of Yale, USA
The Neoproterozoic Era (1000-541 Ma) bore witness to Earth’s longest glaciations, the evolution of animal life and huge perturbations to biogeochemical cycles, all set against the backdrop of the formation and break-up of the Rodinia supercontinent. Advances in our understanding of these phenomena have been driven by new radiometric ages coupled with paleontological, geochemical and field-mapping efforts. Determining the onset, duration and possible synchroneity of large-scale perturbations to the Neoproterozoic Earth system remains a challenge for elucidating their driving mechanisms. Here, I present new ages that will enable us to test hypotheses related to possible correlations between climatic upheavals, biological innovations and the changes to geochemical cycles during this critical interval of Earth history.