The Proterozoic Planetary Pivot: Oxygen, Snowballs and Metals

A MinEx CRC project looking at how sediments of the Adelaide Superbasin record the Neoproterozoic Oxygenation Event.

Kingsmill Creek Arkaroola from the air

Kingsmill Creek from the air at Arkaroola. The Tapley Hill Formation marks the transgression after the Sturtian glaciation. Within it there are geochemical clues about the planet's redox state, and how this affects mineralisation during this Proterozoic pivot to habitability.

Even if we find life on Mars, it will be like life on Earth a billion years ago or more. Our oxygenated atmosphere, our nutrient rich seas--what makes Earth different from any other planet we know—developed while the rocks of the Flinders Ranges were deposited.

This transition to oxygenated basin waters also sees some of the major sedimentary hosted redox-sensitive metals (e.g. copper and cobalt – metals vital for new technologies).

The student doing this project will investigate geochemical proxies for redox, biological activity and salinity in rocks deposited immediately after this transition. Rocks from the Tapley Hill Formation from the Stuart Shelf, the central Flinders and possibly from the Barrier Ranges (with fieldwork and sample collection from core stores).


Dr Morgan Blades, Professor Alan Collins and Dr Juraj Farkas

Research area: Geochemistry and geochronology

Recommended honours enrolment: Honours in Geology

Tagged in Honours projects - Geology, Honours Projects - Morgan Blades, Honours Projects - Alan Collins, Honours Projects - Juraj Farkas