top of page

Malformed seashells, ancient sediment provide clues about Earth's past


Now, in a pair of complementary new studies, two Northwestern University-led teams of geoscientists report new findings on the chronology and character of events that led to this occurrence, known as Ocean Anoxic Event 2 (OAE2), which was co-discovered more than 40 years ago by late Northwestern professor Seymour Schlanger.

By studying preserved planktonic microfossils and bulk sediment extracted from three sites around the world, the team collected direct evidence indicating that ocean acidification occurred during the earliest stages of the event, due to carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the eruption of massive volcanic complexes on the sea floor.