Geologists: Lack of oxygen destroyed biodiversity in the Baltic primordial sea
The artist's vision of the primeval sea at Estonian Natural History Museum exhibition. Author / Source: Siim Lõvi / ERR.
Radical changes in the oxygen content of seawater destroyed much of the former Baltic Sea biota, according to a study conducted by scientists from the Department of Geology at Tallinn University of Technology. Studying the processes from hundreds of millions of years ago will help us understand the ongoing wave of biodiversity loss.
"Our work is unique in its first analysis of thallium isotopic composition of rocks from the Paleozoic, which reflects the oxygen content of the world ocean. The rock samples studied originated in Latvia and the Gotland, part of the former Baltic primordial sea. In this region, rocks have changed very little over the last 500 million years, and the original information in the rocky archives is still preserved. The Baltic region is a natural laboratory commendable to geologists - such well-preserved rock layers are virtually lacking in the rest of the world," said Olle Hints, a member of the research group from the Department of Geology.
The research article was published in the journal Geology, Estonian review article was written by Marju Himma in Novaator.