Volcanism, Mass Extinction, and Carbon Isotope Fluctuations in the Middle Permian of China
Paul B. Wignall,1,* Yadong Sun,2 David P. G. Bond,1 Gareth Izon,3 Robert J. Newton,1 Stéphanie Védrine,1 Mike Widdowson,3 Jason R. Ali,4 Xulong Lai,2 Haishui Jiang,2 Helen Cope,5 Simon H. Bottrell1
The 260-million-year-old Emeishan volcanic province of southwest China overlies and is interbedded with Middle Permian carbonates that contain a record of the Guadalupian mass extinction. Sections in the region thus provide an opportunity to directly monitor the relative timing of extinction and volcanism within the same locations. These show that the onset of volcanism was marked by both large phreatomagmatic eruptions and extinctions amongst fusulinacean foraminifers and calcareous algae. The temporal coincidence of these two phenomena supports the idea of a cause-and-effect relationship. The crisis predates the onset of a major negative carbon isotope excursion that points to subsequent severe disturbance of the ocean-atmosphere carbon cycle.
1 School of Earth and Environment, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, UK.
2 Faculty of Earth Sciences, China University of Geosciences, Wuhan, Hubei 430074, China.
3 Department of Earth and Environmental Science, The Open University, Milton Keynes MK7 6AA, UK.
4 Department of Earth Sciences, Pokfulam Road, University of Hong Kong.
5 Department of Bioengineering, University of Strathclyde, Wolfson Building, 106 Rottenrow, Glasgow G4 0NW, UK.
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