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Measuring Oxygen Content of the Ancient Earth

  1. Apr 16, 2014 #1


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    Staff: Mentor

    I read that the level of oxygen in the atmosphere reached its highest concentration during the Carboniferous period, with over 32% of the atmosphere by volume as O2. I was wondering, how is this measured?

    The reference on wiki only links to a graph with no other content.

  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 16, 2014 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    Composition of some precipitates depends on the partial pressure of oxygen, so you can determine the partial pressure by examining deposits.

    I also seem to remember in some cases we were able to find trapped bubbles of original atmosphere.
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