Stanford University

Geological Sciences Seminar: Dr. Fabrício Caxito, Stanford University

Geology Corner Building 320 room 220 and Zoom
Alumni, Faculty, Staff, Students
Department of Geological Sciences

Birth and consumption of Neoproterozoic oceans and possible scenarios of Ediacaran-Cambrian ecosystems in western Gondwana

Western Gondwana formed by the amalgamation of landmasses through consumption of the intervening Neoproterozoic oceanic domains. Protracted closure of the Goiás-Pharusian and Adamastor oceanic realms led to docking of island-arc terranes, subduction polarity reversal, and development of typical Andean-type continental arcs, followed by the collision of the main paleocontinental blocks at 630-540 Ma. Mountain building was probably unprecedented in Earth’s story, with formation of long and wide orogenic belts containing the first widespread record of retro-eclogites and related HP-UHP rocks. Ediacaran-Cambrian foreland basins of western Gondwana contain the first records of complex life forms, suggesting a link between orogenesis and favorable conditions for colonization, such as nutrient delivery and O2 production. However, some of the internal basins became progressively restricted as they were surrounded by the developing orogenic belts, hampering the full development of typical Ediacaran-Cambrian ecosystems. Basin restriction could have led to the development of widespread anoxia and the delivery of high amounts of greenhouse gases such as CH4 to Earth’s atmosphere.


Dr. Fabrício Caxito is a professor of Geology at UFMG, Brazil, and a visiting Professor at Stanford University. Dr. Caxito received his Ph.D. in Geology at UFMG with short-term research periods at UQàM and McGill University, Canada, and a post-doc at the University of Western Australia. The rocks that outcrop today act as recorders for ancient life, chemical, atmospheric and paleogeographic conditions. My main goal as a scientist is to try to read and interpret this record, mainly through geochemical tools. These tools provide clues to reconstruct Earth’s paleogeography, paleochemistry, and life and how they are interconnected and to understand the feedback between all of Earth’s cycles. 




For Zoom meeting information, please contact Rey Garduño (





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