The Great Oxygenation Event (sometimes called the Great Oxidation Event (GOE), as in the journal Nature) occurred around 2.2 to 2.45 billion years ago (Frei et al. 2009). However, in the article A Whiff of Oxygen Before the Great Oxidation Event? (Anbar et al. 2007) and in The rise of atmospheric oxygen (Kump, 2008) where it is hypothesised that through chemostratigraphy, there was a small amount of oxygen before the GOE.

This is disputed in the later article Hematite replacement of iron-bearing precursor sediments in the 3.46-b.y.-old Marble Bar Chert, Pilbara craton, Australia (Rasmussen et al. 2014), who state that the hematite found in banded chert of Marble Bar (and environs) are mistakenly interpreted as being evidence of a oxygenated ocean.

Is there conclusive evidence to refute the presence of an earlier oceanic/atmospheric oxygenation prior to the GOE?

Additional references

Frei et al. 2009, Fluctuations in Precambrian atmospheric oxygenation recorded by chromium isotopes


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