Discovery of 'oxygen oasis' in Antarctic lake hints at Earth's past

Discovery of 'oxygen oasis' in Antarctic lake hints at Earth's past

While studying Lake Fryxell, a frigid Antarctic lake, geoscientists at the University of California, Davis, discovered a thin layer of green bacteria that was generating a little oasis of oxygen. The scientists believe that this could be a replica of conditions on Earth two and a half billions ago when oxygen was not so common in the Earth’s atmosphere. Geological record shows evidence of the Great Oxidation Event that led to the oxygen on Earth to be stretched from the surface to the upper atmosphere. Before this happened, there may have been several 'oxygen oases,' believe the geoscientists. The researchers now want to know more about the chemical reactions between the 'oxygen oasis' and the anoxic water immediately above it and sediments below. This could help them identify similar chemical signatures preserved in ancient lake beds and understand the atmosphere of Earth prior to the Great Oxidation Event.

Read more in Science Daily

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