Close-up of the end-Permian mass extinction horizon recorded in the Meishan section, South China: Sedimentary, elemental, and biotic characterization and a negative shift of sulfate sulfur isotope ratio

K. Kaiho, Zhong Chen, H. Kawahata, Y. Kajiwara, H. Sato

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    Abstract

    The Permian/Triassic (P/Tr) boundary beds of the Meishan section, South China, have been re-studied in detail based on complete samples across the P/Tr transition. Under the microscope, the end-Permian mass extinction horizon is calibrated to a 12-mm stratal interval, the top being 19 mm below the top of Bed 24e of the Changhsing Formation. This abrupt disappearance of skeletal fragments of major benthos characterizes the end-Permian extinction event, suggesting a catastrophic event. An abrupt decrease in the S-34/S-32 ratios of seawater sulfate is confirmed to coincide with the end-Permian event horizon. The sulfur isotope event is thought to have been caused by an overturn of a stratified ocean dominated by HA implying coincidence of the oceanic mixing and the mass extinction. Coincident Siberian flood volcanism may have triggered a long-term (> 10(3) years) cooling leading an ocean mixing. A presumed comet impact to the ocean could have directly caused ocean mixing and the mass extinction. (c) 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)396-405
    JournalPalaeogeography Palaeoclimatology Palaeoecology
    Volume239
    Issue number3-4
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2006

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