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A new view on the ancient sulphur cycle

April 2017

Meabh Gallagher and Balz Kamber from TCD Geology in a collaboration with the Swedish Museum for Natural History have published a paper in the interdisciplinary journal Geobiology. They used the geochemistry of the 20th century leaded petrol 'experiment' as an analogue to the Earth's ancient sulphur cycle. Unlike today, where sulphur exists in abundance in the ocean, the authors argue that on the ancient Earth, rain-down of volcanic sulphur could locally have affected the otherwise sulphur-starved ocean.