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Chemical weathering and nutrient input into late Ediacaran ocean and their relationship to life diversification

Grant number: 17/00399-1
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
Effective date (Start): June 01, 2017
Effective date (End): November 30, 2020
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Geosciences
Cooperation agreement: Coordination of Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES)
Principal Investigator:Jacinta Enzweiler
Grantee:Gustavo Macedo de Paula Santos
Home Institution: Instituto de Geociências (IG). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:16/06114-6 - The Neoproterozoic Earth System and the rise of biological complexity, AP.TEM
Associated scholarship(s):18/25039-0 - Estimation of nutrient input into late Ediacaran marine systems via numerical box modelling of li isotope data of carbonate rocks from the Corumbá and Bambuí groups, Brazil, BE.EP.PD


The appearance of the first complex organisms during the Ediacaran period (635 to 541 Ma) is one of the most notable episodes in Earth's history. Nevertheless, the causes that led to such life evolution remain still unclear. One of the hypotheses is the enhanced influx of nutrients into the ocean via chemical weathering of newly formed large continental masses. Such high nutrient availability might have stimulated biological activity and possibly life radiation. Although plausible, this is still poorly tested at global scale. The objective of this project is to test this hypothesis using Rare Earth Elements (REE) and Li isotope compositions of carbonate rocks as chemical weathering proxies. The targets are two geological units spread across the West Gondwana paleo continent: the Corumbá Group and the Bambuí Group in Brazil. The results will be compared to biochemical and paleontological data obtained in the same units by other researchers in the Thematic Project, to search for correlations. This project will be part of an effort to track and understand the move of life to its complex forms. Currently, no laboratory in South America perform Li isotope analysis and a complete routine for REE+Y determination in the carbonate fraction of rocks is yet to be set in Brazil. Thus, a secondary goal is to implement these analytical procedures in geoanalytical laboratories of São Paulo state universities for future use by other researchers. This project aims not only to enlighten the biochemical changes in the Late Neoproterozoic Ocean but also to promote scientific innovation, leaving a valuable legacy to Brazilian Earth sciences. (AU)

Scientific publications (5)
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
PAULA-SANTOS, GUSTAVO MACEDO; CAETANO-FILHO, SERGIO; ENZWEILER, JACINTA; NAVARRO, MARGARETH S.; BABINSKI, MARLY; GUACANEME, CRISTIAN; KUCHENBECKER, MATHEUS; REIS, HUMBERTO; TRINDADE, RICARDO I. F. Rare earth elements in the terminal Ediacaran Bambui Group carbonate rocks (Brazil): evidence for high seawater alkalinity during rise of early animals. Precambrian Research, v. 336, JAN 2020. Web of Science Citations: 0.
CAETANO-FILHO, SERGIO; PAULA-SANTOS, GUSTAVO M.; GUACANEME, CRISTIAN; BABINSKI, MARLY; BEDOYA-RUEDA, CAROLINA; PELOSO, MARILIA; AMORIM, KAMILLA; AFONSO, JHON; KUCHENBECKER, MATHEUS; REIS, HUMBERTO L. S.; TRINDADE, RICARDO I. F. Sequence stratigraphy and chemostratigraphy of an Ediacaran-Cambrian foreland-related carbonate ramp (Bambui Group, Brazil). Precambrian Research, v. 331, SEP 1 2019. Web of Science Citations: 2.
CAETANO-FILHO, SERGIO; PAULA-SANTOS, GUSTAVO M.; DIAS-BRITO, DIMAS. Carbonate REE plus Y signatures from the restricted early marine phase of South Atlantic Ocean (late Aptian - Albian): The influence of early anoxic diagenesis on shale-normalized REE plus Y patterns of ancient carbonate rocks. PALAEOGEOGRAPHY PALAEOCLIMATOLOGY PALAEOECOLOGY, v. 500, p. 69-83, JUL 1 2018. Web of Science Citations: 2.
DE PAULA-SANTOS, GUSTAVO MACEDO; CAETANO-FILHO, SERGIO; BABINSKI, MANY; ENZWEILER, JACINTA. Rare earth elements of carbonate rocks from the Bambui Group, southern Sao Francisco Basin, Brazil, and their significance as paleoenvironmental proxies. Precambrian Research, v. 305, p. 327-340, FEB 2018. Web of Science Citations: 13.
DE PAULA-SANTOS, GUSTAVO MACEDO; BABINSKI, MARLY. Sedimentary provenance in the southern sector of the Sao Francisco Basin, SE Brazil. BRAZILIAN JOURNAL OF GEOLOGY, v. 48, n. 1, p. 51-74, JAN-MAR 2018. Web of Science Citations: 3.

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