- Press Release
- October 4, 2022
Nutrient Supply To Planetary Biospheres From Anoxic Weathering Of Mafic Oceanic Crust
Phosphorus is an essential element for life, and the phosphorous cycle is widely believed to be a key factor limiting the extent of Earth’s biosphere and its impact on remotely detectable features of Earth’s atmospheric chemistry.
Continental weathering is conventionally considered to be the only source of bioavailable phosphorus to the marine biosphere, with submarine hydrothermal processes acting as a phosphorus sink. Here, we use a novel 29Si tracer technique to demonstrate that alteration of submarine basalt under anoxic conditions leads to significant soluble phosphorus release, with an estimated ratio between phosphorus release and CO2 consumption (P/CO2) of 3.99+/-1.03 umol/mmol. This ratio is comparable to that of modern rivers, suggesting that submarine weathering under anoxic conditions is potentially a significant source of bioavailable phosphorus to planetary oceans and that volatile-rich Earth-like planets lacking exposed continents could develop robust biospheres capable of sustaining remotely detectable atmospheric biosignatures.
Drew D. Syverson, Christopher T. Reinhard, Terry T. Isson, Cerys Holstege, Joachim Katchinoff, Benjamin M. Tutolo, Barbara Etschmann, Joël Brugger, Noah J. Planavsky
Comments: Manuscript under consideration in Geophysical Research Letters
Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)
Cite as: arXiv:2002.07667 [astro-ph.EP] (or arXiv:2002.07667v2 [astro-ph.EP] for this version)
From: Christopher Reinhard
[v1] Tue, 18 Feb 2020 15:58:11 UTC (6,404 KB)
[v2] Fri, 4 Jun 2021 18:46:14 UTC (546 KB)