The Paleoproterozoic and Neoproterozoic Carbon Cycle Promoted the Evolution of a Habitable Earth

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This study was funded by the National Key Research and Development Program of China (Grant No. 2019YFA0708501). We give our great thanks to two anonymous reviewers for their kind and helpful suggestions and comments on the first version of this paper.

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    The carbon cycle is an important process that regulates Earth’s evolution. We compare two typical periods, in the Paleoproterozoic and Neoproterozoic, in which many geological events occurred. It remains an open question when modern plate tectonics started on Earth and how it has influenced the carbon cycle through time. In the Paleoproterozoic, intense weathering in a highly CO2 and CH4 rich atmosphere caused more nutritional?elements to be carried into the ocean. Terrestrial input boosted high biological productivity, deposition of sediments and the formation of an altered oceanic crust, which may have promoted an increase in the oxygen content. Sediment lubrication and a decrease in mantle potential temperature made cold and deep subduction possible, which carried more carbon into the deep mantle. Carbon can be stored in the mantle as diamond and carbonated mantle rocks, being released by arc and mid-ocean ridge outgassing at widely different times. From the Paleoproterozoic through the Neoproterozoic to the Phanerozoic, the carbon cycle has promoted the evolution of a habitable Earth.

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LIU Zhicheng, ZHANG Lifei.2023. The Paleoproterozoic and Neoproterozoic Carbon Cycle Promoted the Evolution of a Habitable Earth[J]. Acta Geologica Sinica(),97(1):316-326

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  • Received:October 31,2022
  • Revised:February 01,2023
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  • Online: February 28,2023
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