Advertisement

Paleontological Journal

, Volume 44, Issue 7, pp 827–838 | Cite as

On the early evolutionary stage of the geosphere and biosphere and the problem of early glaciations

  • N. L. DobretsovEmail author
Article

Abstract

The early evolutionary stages of the geosphere and biosphere are determined by three interrelated factors: (1) continuous cooling of the surface and interior (mantle) of the Earth (the mean temperatures of the mantle and surface decreased by a factor of 1.5–2 and 3–4, respectively; the mean heat flow was reduced by approximately one order of magnitude, and viscosity, by three orders); (2) continuous stepwise oxidation of the surface, which was particularly well pronounced from 3.8 to 1.8 Ga; and (3) periodic and correlated fluctuations of conditions in the geosphere and biosphere of varying extent and nature. The major boundaries of this evolution were about 4 Ga (the origin of rather thick and heterogeneous earth’s crust, the origin of life); about 3 Ga (appearance of a strong magnetic field, an increase in photosynthetic activity); about 1.8–1.9 Ga (appearance of an oxidized atmosphere, the first supercontinent, possibly, the first superplumes from the nucleus); and about 0.75 Ga (acceleration of subduction, “watering” of the upper mantle, elevation of continents with vast land masses, shelves, large rivers, and the first great glaciations). The significance and correlations of the earliest events (before and about 4 Ga) and events about 750 Ma are widely debated. In the Late Archean and Early Proterozoic (before 1.8 Ga), the biosphere was dominated by cyanobacteria, the dynamics and developmental peaks of which are marked by the presence of widespread stromatolite buildups in carbonaceous rocks (initially, mostly dolomitic matter). About 700–750 Ma, intense and frequent glaciations developed, marking the cooling of the Earth. The greatest glaciation apparently occurred about 640 Ma, which gave rise to the discussion of the model of the Snowball Earth. The emergence and evolution of skeletons in animals is sometimes thought to be connected with glaciations. These events are correlated and accounted for by great endogenous changes. One of the major events in endogenous history is the onset about 750 Ma of periodic manifestation of mantle flows (superplumes), which explain further periodicity of the biosphere evolution. In conclusion, extrapolation of future evolution and successive collapse of biosphere segments in the course of transformation of the Sun into a red star and warming of the Earth surface are proposed.

Key words

Geosphere biosphere early evolution early glaciations 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. 1.
    Yu. A. Balashov, Isotope Geochemical Evolution of Mantle and Crust of the Earth (Nauka, Moscow, 1985) [in Russian].Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Yu. A. Balashov and V. A. Glaznev, “Geochemical and Isotope Features of the Earliest Stages of the Crust Formation and Differentiation of Mantle of the Earth,” TINETA, No. 4, 22–27 (2008).Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    J. D. Bernal, The Origin of Life (Weidenfeld and Nicolson, London, 1967).Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    C. Bounama, W. Bloh, and S. Franck, “Das Ende des Raumschiffs Erde,” Spektrum Wissenschaft. Oktober, 100–107 (2004).Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    K. C. Condie, Earth As an Evolving Planetary System (Elsevier Acad. Press, London, 2005).Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    T. Cavalier-Smith, “Origins of the Machinery of Recombination and Sex,” Heredity 88, 125–141 (2002).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    A. B. Chetverin, “The Puzzle of RNA Recombination,” FEBS Lett., No. 460, 1–5 (1999).Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    N. L. Dobretsov, “Correlation of Biological and Geological Events in the History of the Earth and Probable Mechanisms of Biological Evolution,” Paleontol. Zh., No. 6, 4–15 (2003) [Paleontol. J. 37 (6), 566–577 (2003)].Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    N. L. Dobretsov, “On Early Stages of the Development and Evolution of Life,” Vestn. Vseross. Ob-va Genet. Selekts. 9(1), 43–54 (2005).Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    N. L. Dobretsov and N. M. Chumakov, 2001. “Global periodicity in an evolution of a lithosphere and biosphere,” in Global Changes of the Natural Environment, Ed. by N. L. Dobretsov and V. I. Kovalenko (GEO, Novosibirsk, 2001), pp. 11–27 [in Russian].Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    N. L. Dobretsov, A. G. Kirdyashkin, and A. A. Kirdyashkin, Deep Geodynamics (GEO, Novosibirsk, 2001a) [in Russian].Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    N. L. Dobretsov, N. A. Kolchanov, and V. V. Suslov, “On Important Stages of Geosphere and Biosphere Evolution,” in Biosphere Origin and Evolution, Ed. by N. Dobretsov, N. Kolchanov, A. Rozanov, and G. Zavarzin (Springer, 2008), pp. 3–24.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    N. L. Dobretsov and V. S. Shatsky, “Exhumation of High-Pressure Rocks of the Kokchetav Massif: Facts and Models,” Lithos 78, 307–318 (2004).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    N. L. Dobretsov, S. V. Shestakov, V. K. Shumnyi, and A. V. Kanygin, “Problems of the Origin and Evolution of Life,” Vestn. Vseross. Ob-va Genet. Selekts., No. 17, 2–6 (2001b).Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    A. E. Fallick, V. A. Melezhik, and B. M. Simonson, “The Ancient Anoxic Biosphere Was not As We Know It,” in Biosphere Origin and Evolution, Ed. by N. Dobretsov, N. Kolchanov, A. Rozanov, and G. Zavarzin (Springer, 2008), pp. 169–188.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    M. A. Fedonkin, “The Origin of the Metazoa in the Light of the Proterozoic Fossil Record,” Paleontol. Res. 7, 9–41 (2003).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    J. P. Ferris, “Mineral Catalysis and Synthesis: Montmorillonite Catalyzed Formation of RNA,” Elements 1, 145–149 (2005).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    M. A. Grachev, On the Modern State of the Ecosystem of Lake Baikal (Sib. Otd. Ross. Akad. Nauk, Novosibirsk, 2002) [in Russian].Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    S. E. Haggerty, “A Diamond Triology: Superplumes, Supercontinents and Supernovae,” Science 285, 851–860 (1999).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    P. F. Hoffman and D. P. Schrag, “The Snowball Earth Hypothesis: Testing the Limits of Global Change,” Terra Nova 14, 129–155 (2002).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Y. Isozaki, “Plume Winter Scenario for Biosphere Catastrophe: The Permo-Triassic Boundary Case,” in Superplumes: Beyond Plate Tectonics, Ed. by D. A. Yuen, Sh. Maruyama, Sh. Karato, and B. F. Windley (Springer, 2007), pp. 409–439.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    N. A. Kolchanov, V. V. Suslov, and V. K. Shumnyi, “Molecular Evolution of Genetic Systems,” Paleontol. Zh., No. 6, 58–70 (2003) [Paleontol. J. 37 (6), 617–629 (2003)].Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    T. Komiya, “Material Circulation through Time: Chemical Differentiation within the Mantle and Secular Variation of Temperature and Composition of the Mantle,” in Superplumes: Beyond Plate Tectonics, Ed. by D. A. Yuen, Sh. Maruyama, Sh. Karato, and B. F. Windley (Springer, 2007), pp. 187–234.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    S. Kumar and S. B. Hedges, “A Molecular Timescale for Vertebrata Evolution,” Nature 392, 917–920 (1998).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Sh. Maruyama and J. G. Liou, “From Snowball to Phanerozoic Earth,” Intern. Geol. Rev. 47, 775–791 (2005).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Sh. Maruyama, D. A. Yuen, and B. F. Windley, “Dynamics of Plumes and Superplumes through Time,” in Superplumes: Beyond Plate Tectonics, Ed. by D. A. Yuen et al. (Springer, 2007), pp. 441–502.Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    M. Menneken, A. A. Nemchin, Th. Geisler, et al., “Hadean Diamonds in Zircons from Jack Hills, W. Australia,” Nature 448, 917–921 (2007).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    A. A. Nemchin, R. T. Pidgeon, and M. J. Whitehouse, “Re-evaluation of the Origin and Evolution of >4.2 GA Zircons from the Jack Hills Metasedimentary Rocks,” Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 244, 218–233 (2006).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    A. Yu. Rozanov, “Fossil Bacteria, Sedimentogenesis, and the Early Biospheric Evolution,” Paleontol. Zh., No. 6, 41–49 (2003) [Paleontol. J. 37 (6), 603–610 (2003)].Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    A. Yu. Rozanov, “Precambrian Geobiology,” Paleontol. J. 40(Suppl. 4), 434–443 (2006).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    M. A. Schidlowski, “3.8 Billion Year Old Record of Life from Carbon in Sedimentary Rocks,” Nature 333, 313–318 (1988).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    J. J. Sepkovski, “Pattern of Phanerozoic Extinction: A Perspective from Global Data Bases,” in Global Events and Event Stratigraphy, Ed. by O. H. Wallister (Springer, Berlin, 1996), pp. 35–51.Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    V. N. Sergeev, L. M. Gerasimenko, and G. A. Zavarzin, “Proterozoic History and Present State of Cyanobacteria,” Microbiology 71(6), 725–740 (2002).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    S. V. Shestakov, “On the Early Biological Evolution from the Viewpoint of Genomics,” Paleontol. Zh., No. 6, 50–57 (2003) [Paleontol. J. 37 (6), 611–616 (2003)].Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    A. S. Spirin, “The Ancient RNA World,” Paleontol. J. 44(7), 737–746 (2010).Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    E. Tajika and N. Matsui, “Evolution of Terrestrial Proto CO2 Atmosphere Coupled with Thermal History of Earth,” Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 113, 251–266 (1992).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    S. A. Wilde, J. W. Valley, W. H. Peck, and C. M. Gra- ham, “Evidence from Detrital Zircons for the Existence of Continental Crust and Ocean on the Earth 4.4 Gyr Ago,” Nature 409, 175–178 (2001).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    G. A. Zavarzin, “Formation of the Biosphere,” Vestn. Ross. Akad. Nauk 71, 988–1001 (2001).Google Scholar
  39. 39.
    G. A. Zavarzin, Lectures in Environmental Microbiology (Nauka, Moscow, 2003a) [in Russian].Google Scholar
  40. 40.
    G. A. Zavarzin, “Formation of the System of Biogeochemical Cycles,” Paleontol. Zh., No. 6, 16–24 (2003b) [Paleontol. J. 37 (6), 578–586 (2003b)].Google Scholar
  41. 41.
    G. A. Zavarzin, “Microbial biosphere,” in Biosphere Origin and Evolution, Ed. by N. Dobretsov, N. Kolchanov, A. Rozanov, and G. Zavarzin (Springer, 2008), pp. 25–44.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Pleiades Publishing, Ltd. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Joint Institute of Geology, Geophysics, and Mineralogy, Siberian BranchRussian Academy of SciencesNovosibirskRussia

Personalised recommendations