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Dynamic anoxic ferruginous conditions during the end-Permian mass extinction and recovery

  • M. O. Clarkson
  • R. A. Wood
  • S. W. Poulton
  • S. Richoz
  • R. J. Newton
  • S. A. Kasemann
  • F. Bowyer
  • L. Krystyn
Publishing year: 2016-07-19
Language: English
Publication/Series: Nature Communications
Volume: 7
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group

Abstract english

The end-Permian mass extinction, ∼252 million years ago, is notable for a complex recovery period of ∼5 Myr. Widespread euxinic (anoxic and sulfidic) oceanic conditions have been proposed as both extinction mechanism and explanation for the protracted recovery period, yet the vertical distribution of anoxia in the water column and its temporal dynamics through this time period are poorly constrained. Here we utilize Fe-S-C systematics integrated with palaeontological observations to reconstruct a complete ocean redox history for the Late Permian to Early Triassic, using multiple sections across a shelf-to-basin transect on the Arabian Margin (Neo-Tethyan Ocean). In contrast to elsewhere, we show that anoxic non-sulfidic (ferruginous), rather than euxinic, conditions were prevalent in the Neo-Tethys. The Arabian Margin record demonstrates the repeated expansion of ferruginous conditions with the distal slope being the focus of anoxia at these times, as well as short-lived episodes of oxia that supported diverse biota.


  • ISSN: 2041-1723
Sylvain Richoz
E-mail: sylvain [dot] richoz [at] geol [dot] lu [dot] se

Senior lecturer

Lithosphere and Biosphere Science

+46 46 222 78 89

Sölvegatan 12, Lund