Round and round it goes: mineral oxidation and the Earth's redox cycle
Characterising the flux of carbon dioxide (CO2) and oxygen (O2) in our atmosphere and bodies of water over short and long time scales is vital to understanding the evolution of our planet, its climate and life forms on it. The cycles of these are tied to many different sources and sinks, among the least understood being oxidative weathering of sulphide minerals such as pyrite. Oxidative weathering of sulphides both removes O2 from the atmosphere and acts as a source of CO2. The EU-funded RESpiReS project is characterising this flux now and in our distant past and will also let us know if we can use it as a proxy for atmospheric compositions of O2 and CO2 over time. The resulting models of pyrite oxidation flux and atmospheric fluxes will fill important gaps in our current knowledge of global redox cycles.
Fields of science
Funding SchemeERC-STG - Starting Grant
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