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Refined Ordovician timescale reveals no link between asteroid breakup and biodiversification

  • A. Lindskog
  • M Costa
  • C. M. Rasmussen
  • J. N. Connelly
  • M. E. Eriksson
Publishing year: 2017-01-24
Language: English
Publication/Series: Nature Communications
Volume: 8
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group

Abstract english

The catastrophic disruption of the L chondrite parent body in the asteroid belt c. 470 Ma initiated a prolonged meteorite bombardment of Earth that started in the Ordovician and continues today. Abundant L chondrite meteorites in Middle Ordovician strata have been interpreted to be the consequence of the asteroid breakup event. Here we report a zircon U-Pb date of 467.50±0.28 Ma from a distinct bed within the meteorite-bearing interval of southern Sweden that, combined with published cosmic-ray exposure ages of co-occurring meteoritic material, provides a precise age for the L chondrite breakup at 468.0±0.3 Ma. The new zircon date requires significant revision of the Ordovician timescale that has implications for the understanding of the astrogeobiologic development during this period. It has been suggested that the Middle Ordovician meteorite bombardment played a crucial role in the Great Ordovician Biodiversification Event, but this study shows that the two phenomena were unrelated.


  • Geology


  • ISSN: 2041-1723
Mats Eriksson
E-mail: mats [dot] eriksson [at] geol [dot] lu [dot] se


Lithosphere and Biosphere Science

+46 46 222 96 02