Timing the end-Triassic mass extinction: First on land, then in the sea?

J. Pálfy, J. K. Mortensen, E. S. Carter, P. L. Smith, R. M. Friedman, H. W. Tipper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

120 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The end-Triassic marks one of the five biggest mass extinctions, but current geologic time scales are inadequate for understanding its dynamics. A tuff layer in marine sedimentary rocks encompassing the Triassic-Jurassic transition yielded a U-Pb zircon age of 199.6 ± 0.3 Ma. The dated level is immediately below a prominent change in radiolarian faunas and the last occurrence of conodonts. Additional recently obtained U-Pb ages integrated with ammonoid biochronology confirm that the Triassic Period ended ca. 200 Ma, several million years later than suggested by previous time scales. Published dating of continental sections suggests that the extinction peak of terrestrial plants and vertebrates occurred before 200.6 Ma. The end-Triassic biotic crisis on land therefore appears to have preceded that in the sea by at least several hundred thousand years.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-42
Number of pages4
JournalGeology
Volume28
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2000

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Keywords

  • Biostratigraphy
  • Mass extinction
  • Queen Charlotte Islands
  • Triassic-Jurassic boundary
  • U-Pb geochronology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology

Cite this

Pálfy, J., Mortensen, J. K., Carter, E. S., Smith, P. L., Friedman, R. M., & Tipper, H. W. (2000). Timing the end-Triassic mass extinction: First on land, then in the sea? Geology, 28(1), 39-42. https://doi.org/10.1130/0091-7613(2000)028<0039:TTETME>2.3.CO;2