Based on research on Scottish rocks approximately 2.2 billion years old, Professor Fallick proposed in 1989 that this uniformitarianism had been disturbed in a major way at least once in our planet's past, during the change from a reduced to an oxidised (i.e. stable free oxygen) atmosphere and hydrosphere at around 2.2 billion years ago.
Confirmatory evidence has since been presented worldwide and subsequent events, characterised by excursions of the stable carbon isotope ratio of carbonate rocks, identified in the geological record.
However, the event at 2.2 billion years ago, subsequently named the Lomagundi-Jatulian Excursion, remains the biggest and longest lasting disturbance to the geodynamic carbon cycle yet known.
Because of its importance, an international consortium of scientists has raised a multi-million dollar budget in research grants and in 2007 (via the International Continental Drilling Program) recovered over 3.6 km of drill-core at a series of locations in FennoScandian Russia to deliver an archive of fresh rocks through this crucial period. This will allow us to unravel the unique sequence of events that had such an unprecedented effect on the way the Earth System operates.