Saturday, April 16, 2016

Multiple Carbon Excursions Found Across Permian Triassic Boundary

Permian–Triassic boundary (PTB) in the Lower Yangtze Region, southeastern China: A new discovery of deep-water archive based on organic carbon isotopic and U–Pb geochronological studies


Liao et al


The Lower Yangtze Region of southeastern China is an important area for the study of Permian–Triassic Boundary (PTB). In this region many well-known PTB sections (e.g., Meishan) have been investigated widely and extensively; however, these sections are dominantly in shallow-water settings and data from deep-water areas are lacking. To fill the gap, we conducted a field survey recently and found a deep-water PTB section with relatively continuous deposition using integrated organic carbon isotopic and U–Pb geochronological studies. This well-exposed and fresh section is located at Niushan, Xuancheng city, Anhui Province, ~ 90 km west of the well-known Meishan section, which is the PTB Global Boundary Stratotype Section and Point. The organic carbon isotope curve of the section contains three positive excursions (PCIEs) and two negative excursions (NCIEs), which can be well correlated with other PTB sections as well as with Wuchiapingian–Changhsingian Boundary (WCB) sections worldwide. They archive the original PTB and WCB signatures. Further U–Pb dating of magmatic zircons in volcanic ashes validates this new finding, i.e., the PTB interval between 252.49 ± 0.76 Ma and 251.74 ± 0.77 Ma. Carbon isotopes of PTB sections in South China reflect the regional paleogeography. The two NCIEs (NCIE-2 and NCIE-3) across the PTB transition are most likely caused by widespread large-scale volcanic activity. In contrast, the NCIE-1 near the WCB is possibly related to an increase in the productivity of organic matter as a result of transgression and a change in the organic matter type from terrigenous to marine.

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