The Evolution of the Atmosphere

  • Created by: Julia V
  • Created on: 21-06-18 20:45
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  • The Evolution of the Atmosphere
    • Phase 1 - Volcanoes
      • The early atmosphere was probably mostly made up of mostly Carbon Dioxide with VIRTUALLY NO OXYGEN.
      • The Early atmosphere was similar to the atmosphere of Venus and Mars today.
      • Volcanic activity released Nitrogen, Carbon Dioxide, Water Vapour and small amounts of methane and ammonia.
    • Phase 2 - Oceans, Algae and Green Plants
      • When the Water Vapour in the atmosphere CONDENSED it formed the OCEANS.
      • Lots of Carbon Dioxide dissolved into the oceans.
        • This dissolved Carbon Dioxide then went through a series of reactions to form Carbon Precipitates that formed SEDIMENTS on the SEABED.
      • GREEN PLANTS and ALGAE evolved and absorbed some of the carbon dioxide so that they could carry out photosynthesis.
      • When plants, plankton and marine animals DIE they fall to the seabed and get BURIED by LAYERS OF SEDIMENT.
        • Over millions of years, the become COMPRESSED and form SEDIMENTARY ROCKS, OIL AND GAS - Trapping the carbon within them.
        • Things like Coal, Crude Oil and Natural Gas that  are made by this process are called 'Fossil Fuels'.
    • Phase 3 - Green Plants and Algae PRODUCED OXYGEN
      • About 200 Million years ago, the atmosphere reached a composition similar to how it is today:
        • Approximately: 80% Nitrogen and 20% Oxygen
          • Small amounts of gases each making up less than 1% of the atmosphere. Mainly Carbon Dioxide, Noble gases and Water Vapour.

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