Die Entwicklung der Erdatmosphäre und ihre Wechselbeziehung zur Entwicklung der Sedimente und des Lebens
The formation of the atmosphere-together with that of the oceans and sediments-was determined by three important processes: the loss of noble gases and volatiles in the solar nebula, the enrichment of these substances at the Earth's surface by exhalation from the Earth's mantle, and finally the formation of the hydrosphere, enabled by-in contrast to our neighboring planets-a suitable distance from the sun. In this way the development of the atmospheric gases N2, H2O and CO2 was largely fixed. Oxygen, on the other hand, appeared late in the atmosphere. It originated from biological photosynthesis which apparently developed rather early in the Earth's history but lead at first only to oxidation of iron and sulfur. The subsequently occurring accumulation of free oxygen in the atmosphere resulted in interesting interrelations with the development of life.