Synchrony between Early Jurassic extinction, oceanic anoxic event, and the Karoo-Ferrar flood basalt volcanism

J. Pálfy, P. L. Smith

Research output: Article

215 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A well-known second-order mass extinction took place during the Pliensbachian and Toarcian Stages of the Early Jurassic. First recognized as a minor Pliensbachian peak in the global extinction rate, it has alternatively been interpreted as a regional response to the early Toarcian oceanic anoxic event. Detailed studies established it as a global long-term event spanning five successive ammonoid zones. Here we present a revised time scale based on high-precision U-Pb ages resolved to the zone level, which suggests that elevated extinction rates were sustained for about 4 m.y. and peak extinction occurred at 183 Ma. Recent isotopic dating of flood basalts from the southern Gondwanan Karoo and Ferrar provinces documents a culmination in volcanic activity ca. 183 Ma. The onset of volcanism is recorded as an inflection and start of a rapid rise of the seawater 87Sr/86Sr curve. The synchrony of voluminous flood basalt eruptions and biotic crises, as already noted for three of the major mass extinctions, permits a causal relationship, which in this case may be mediated by widespread oceanic anoxia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)747-750
Number of pages4
JournalGeology
Volume28
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2000

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flood basalt
synchrony
Pliensbachian
volcanism
Toarcian
Jurassic
extinction
mass extinction
anoxia
volcanic eruption
seawater
timescale
rate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology

Cite this

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title = "Synchrony between Early Jurassic extinction, oceanic anoxic event, and the Karoo-Ferrar flood basalt volcanism",
abstract = "A well-known second-order mass extinction took place during the Pliensbachian and Toarcian Stages of the Early Jurassic. First recognized as a minor Pliensbachian peak in the global extinction rate, it has alternatively been interpreted as a regional response to the early Toarcian oceanic anoxic event. Detailed studies established it as a global long-term event spanning five successive ammonoid zones. Here we present a revised time scale based on high-precision U-Pb ages resolved to the zone level, which suggests that elevated extinction rates were sustained for about 4 m.y. and peak extinction occurred at 183 Ma. Recent isotopic dating of flood basalts from the southern Gondwanan Karoo and Ferrar provinces documents a culmination in volcanic activity ca. 183 Ma. The onset of volcanism is recorded as an inflection and start of a rapid rise of the seawater 87Sr/86Sr curve. The synchrony of voluminous flood basalt eruptions and biotic crises, as already noted for three of the major mass extinctions, permits a causal relationship, which in this case may be mediated by widespread oceanic anoxia.",
keywords = "Extinction, Flood basalt, Oceanic anoxic event, Time scale, Toarcian",
author = "J. P{\'a}lfy and Smith, {P. L.}",
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T1 - Synchrony between Early Jurassic extinction, oceanic anoxic event, and the Karoo-Ferrar flood basalt volcanism

AU - Pálfy, J.

AU - Smith, P. L.

PY - 2000

Y1 - 2000

N2 - A well-known second-order mass extinction took place during the Pliensbachian and Toarcian Stages of the Early Jurassic. First recognized as a minor Pliensbachian peak in the global extinction rate, it has alternatively been interpreted as a regional response to the early Toarcian oceanic anoxic event. Detailed studies established it as a global long-term event spanning five successive ammonoid zones. Here we present a revised time scale based on high-precision U-Pb ages resolved to the zone level, which suggests that elevated extinction rates were sustained for about 4 m.y. and peak extinction occurred at 183 Ma. Recent isotopic dating of flood basalts from the southern Gondwanan Karoo and Ferrar provinces documents a culmination in volcanic activity ca. 183 Ma. The onset of volcanism is recorded as an inflection and start of a rapid rise of the seawater 87Sr/86Sr curve. The synchrony of voluminous flood basalt eruptions and biotic crises, as already noted for three of the major mass extinctions, permits a causal relationship, which in this case may be mediated by widespread oceanic anoxia.

AB - A well-known second-order mass extinction took place during the Pliensbachian and Toarcian Stages of the Early Jurassic. First recognized as a minor Pliensbachian peak in the global extinction rate, it has alternatively been interpreted as a regional response to the early Toarcian oceanic anoxic event. Detailed studies established it as a global long-term event spanning five successive ammonoid zones. Here we present a revised time scale based on high-precision U-Pb ages resolved to the zone level, which suggests that elevated extinction rates were sustained for about 4 m.y. and peak extinction occurred at 183 Ma. Recent isotopic dating of flood basalts from the southern Gondwanan Karoo and Ferrar provinces documents a culmination in volcanic activity ca. 183 Ma. The onset of volcanism is recorded as an inflection and start of a rapid rise of the seawater 87Sr/86Sr curve. The synchrony of voluminous flood basalt eruptions and biotic crises, as already noted for three of the major mass extinctions, permits a causal relationship, which in this case may be mediated by widespread oceanic anoxia.

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KW - Oceanic anoxic event

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