It is the age of increased level of atmospheric oxygen, bio diversity, and rise of continents, huronian glaciations, and mineral diversity. Siderian Period lasted from 2, 5000 to 2, 3000 million years ago and is one of the major division of the Proterozoic Era.
How was life in the Siderian Period?
Life was mainly in the form of bacteria and organisms in the Siderian Period. It was also the age when an increased level of atmospheric oxygen took place. Anaerobic and algae are mainly responsible for this rise of oxygen in the atmosphere. This rise of atmospheric oxygen affected the iron, which was formed previously, to create iron oxide and later this came to be known as magnetite. This magnetite is highly known for its rich magnetic properties.
Do you know that sea water was previously greenish? Do you know how this greenish water became clear? The interesting facts about this issue defines that building of magnetite helped to take the iron out of the sea water and made it clearer. This process of taking iron out the sea water also made the atmosphere oxygen rich. There are evidences in the form of banded iron formations, to support this issue. These banded formations can be found in the sediments of Minnesota in the USA.
An interesting part of the Siderian Period: Oxygen Catastrophe
Abundance of atmospheric oxygen gave birth to an event called the oxygen catastrophe and prior to this event organic matter like algae and dissolved iron can capture any free oxygen. But after this oxygen catastrophe there were mass destructions of the anaerobic lives. These organisms could not bear the increasing level of atmospheric saturated oxygen and succumbed to their end.
Continental rise in the Siderian Period
It was also in this period that continents started to be shown above the water levels on the planet though not above the surface of the planet.
In fact, there were lots of changes in the Earth’s various features. Let us count the changes in the Siderian Period as catastrophes in major categories.
The huronian glaciations
This is one of the major changes in the Earth which was caused by the rise of water in the atmosphere. This atmospheric water was responsible for the severe and the longest glaciation events. These events of glaciations ran from 300 to 400 million years and covered the next period of the Siderian Period, the Rhyacian period. However, along with atmospheric water the titling of the Earth’s angle and decrease in volcanic activities are also taken as the causes of these glaciations events.
This rise of atmospheric oxygen also paved the way for chemical reactions between the atmosphere of the earth and the substrates and fresh of the surface and the oceans. These reactions were responsible for the oxygenation catastrophe which was the event of creation of energy in the cells, which was known as mitochondria.