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TitlePreliminary identification of fullerenes in the lowermost Jurassic strata, Queen Charlotte Islands, British Columbia
AuthorHaggart, J W
SourceInstruments, Methods, and Missions for Astrobiology VII; by Hoover, R B (ed.); Rozanov, A Y (ed.); Proceedings of SPIE, the International Society of Optical Engineering vol. 5163, 2004 p. 62-71,
Alt SeriesEarth Sciences Sector, Contribution Series 20090057
MeetingSPIE, Society of Photographic Instrumentation Engineers; Bellingham, WA; US; 2004
Mediapaper; on-line; digital
File formatpdf
ProvinceBritish Columbia
NTS103B; 103C; 103F
AreaQueen Charlotte Islands; Haida Gwaii
Lat/Long WENS-133.5000 -131.0000 54.5000 52.0000
Subjectsmineralogy; geochemistry; analytical methods; mass spectrometer analysis; microscopic analysis; scanning electron microscopy; microscopic analyses; amino acids; Sandilands Formation; Mesozoic; Jurassic; Triassic
Illustrationslocation maps; photographs; spectra
Released2004 02 10
AbstractThe Triassic-Jurassic (TJ) mass extinction (~200 mya) event is one of the most severe in geologic history. It is also one of the most poorly understood. Few geologic sections containing the TJ boundary interval have been identified globally, and most of those are poorly preserved; the paucity of suitable stratigraphic sections has prevented corroborative geochemical studies of this interval. Recently, fullerene molecules (C60 to C200) have been shown to be present in the mass extinction boundary intervals of the Permian-Triassic (PT) event (~251.4 mya), as well as the well-known "dinosaur" extinction event of the Cretaceous-Tertiary (KT) (~65 mya). The presence of fullerenes in both these extinction intervals has been used to invoke an extraterrestrial impact cause for the extinctions. Preliminary results of laser desorption mass spectrometry (LDMS) of selected samples from the Kennecott Point TJ boundary section, Queen Charlotte Islands, British Columbia, suggest that fullerenes (C60 to ~C200) are present in the section, stratigraphically above the extinction interval (as defined by paleontological and isotopic data), but not actually within the interval itself. The presence of fullerenes may not be diagnostic of an impact event.

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