20. Geobiology of the Proterozoic Eon

  1. Andrew H. Knoll3,
  2. Donald E. Canfield4 and
  3. Kurt O. Konhauser5
  1. Timothy W. Lyons1,
  2. Christopher T. Reinhard1,
  3. Gordon D. Love1 and
  4. Shuhai Xiao2

Published Online: 29 MAR 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781118280874.ch20

Fundamentals of Geobiology

Fundamentals of Geobiology

How to Cite

Lyons, T. W., Reinhard, C. T., Love, G. D. and Xiao, S. (2012) Geobiology of the Proterozoic Eon, in Fundamentals of Geobiology (eds A. H. Knoll, D. E. Canfield and K. O. Konhauser), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118280874.ch20

Editor Information

  1. 3

    Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge MA 02138, USA

  2. 4

    Institute of Biology Nordic Center for Earth Evolution, University of Southern Denmark, Campusvej 55, DK-5230 Odense M, Denmark

  3. 5

    Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB T6G 2E3, Canada

Author Information

  1. 1

    Department of Earth Sciences, University of California, Riverside CA 92521, USA

  2. 2

    Department of Geosciences, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg VA 24061, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 29 MAR 2012
  2. Published Print: 20 APR 2012

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781118280812

Online ISBN: 9781118280874



  • geobiology of the Proterozoic Eon;
  • GOE, disappearance of fluvial sediments, detrital minerals;
  • early Proterozoic, Era geobiology within the GOE;
  • mid-Proterozoic, deep ocean anoxia, the ‘boring’ billion;
  • Proterozoic life, alkane profiles from Phanerozoic-age rocks;
  • late Proterozoic, Neoproterozoic oxygenation, and organic burial;
  • Neoproterozoic climate extremes, the snowball Earth;
  • terminal Proterozoic, the big rise of oxygen in oceans, atmosphere;
  • Neoproterozoic geochemistry, puzzling record of oxygenation


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Introduction

  • The Great Oxidation Event

  • The early Proterozoic: Era geobiology in the wake of the GOE

  • The mid-Proterozoic: a last gasp of iron formations, deep ocean anoxia, the ‘boring’ billion, and a mid-life crisis

  • The history of Proterozoic life: biomarker records

  • The history of Proterozoic life: mid-Proterozoic fossil record

  • The late Proterozoic: a supercontinent, oxygen, ice, and the emergence of animals

  • Summary

  • Acknowledgements

  • References