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TitleBiotic responses to volatile volcanism and environmental stresses over the Guadalupian-Lopingian (Permian) transition
AuthorHuang, Y; Chen, Z -Q; Wignall, P B; Grasby, S EORCID logo; Zhao, L; Wang, X; Kaiho, K
SourceGeology vol. 47, no. 2, 2018 p. 175-178, Open Access logo Open Access
Alt SeriesNatural Resources Canada, Contribution Series 20180344
PublisherGeological Society of America
Mediapaper; on-line; digital
File formatpdf; html
AreaHongshui River; China
Lat/Long WENS 108.0000 110.0000 25.0000 23.0000
Subjectspaleontology; stratigraphy; sedimentology; geochemistry; extinctions, biotic; biota; microorganisms; benthos; fossils; reefs; volcanism; paleoenvironment; paleoecology; geochemical anomalies; mercury geochemistry; organic carbon analyses; isotopic studies; carbon isotopes; sea level changes; biostratigraphy; fossil distribution, strata; Guadalupian-Lopingian Boundary; Penglaitan Section; Metazoa; Corals; Bivalves; Alatoconchids; nektonic organisms; Emeishan Large Igneous Province (ELIP); Biodiversity; Phanerozoic; Paleozoic; Permian
Illustrationsgeoscientific sketch maps; photographs; photomicrographs; lithologic sections; geochemical profiles; profiles; biostratigraphic charts
ProgramGEM2: Geo-mapping for Energy and Minerals Western Arctic, Pearya Terrane, North Ellesmere
ProgramIGCP Project 630 - Permian-Triassic Climatic and Environmental Extremes and Biotic Response
Released2018 12 31
AbstractBiotic extinction during the Guadalupian-Lopingian (G-L) transition is actively debated, with its timing, validity, and causality all questioned. Here, we show, based on detailed sedimentary, paleoecologic, and geochemical analyses of the Penglaitan section in South China, that this intra-Permian biotic crisis began with the demise of a metazoan reef system and extinction of corals and alatoconchid bivalves in the late Guadalupian. A second crisis, among nektonic organisms, occurred around the G-L boundary. Mercury concentration/total organic carbon (Hg/TOC) ratios show two anomalies. The first Hg/TOC peak broadly coincides with the reef collapse and a positive shift in delta-199Hg values during a lowstand interval, which was followed by microbial proliferation. A larger Hg/TOC peak is found just above the G-L boundary and speculatively represents a main eruption episode of the Emeishan large igneous province (ELIP). This volatile volcanism coincided with nektonic extinction, a negative delta-13C(carb) excursion, anoxia, and sea-level rise. The temporal coincidence of these phenomena supports a cause-and-effect relationship and indicates that the eruption of the ELIP likely triggered the G-L crisis.
Summary(Plain Language Summary, not published)
Based on methodology developed by GSC researchers, an international team examined the potential to use mercury concentrations in the rock record as a global chemostratigraphic tool to provide an absolute age control as well as to examine the impact of volcanism (and associated release of CO2) on global climate and ecosystems. To test this a study was conducted on samples across a major extinction interval that occurred within Permian time from sections of south China to compare with those previously studied in Arctic Canada. Results show that release of CO2 gas and other volatiles from a major volcanic eruption did indeed drive mass extinction at that time.

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