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New geochemical and palaeontological data from the Permian-Triassic boundary in the South African Karoo Basin test the synchronicity of terrestrial and marine extinctions

Published on Feb 15, 2020in Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology2.616
· DOI :10.1016/J.PALAEO.2019.109467
Jennifer Botha5
Estimated H-index: 5
(University of the Free State),
Adam K. Huttenlocker17
Estimated H-index: 17
(SC: University of Southern California)
+ 3 AuthorsSean P. Modesto24
Estimated H-index: 24
(Cape Breton University)
Abstract
Abstract The end-Permian mass extinction (EPME) is widely recognised as the largest mass extinction in Phanerozoic history. In marine strata the main extinction event is well constrained, and has been radiometrically-dated to an interval of some 60 kyr, approximately 251.9 million years ago. However, the age and duration of the EPME in the terrestrial realm, as well as its possible synchronicity with that of the marine realm, is debated. Here, we shed light on issues pertaining to the identification and position of the terrestrial EPME in southern Africa. Using recently collected sedimentological (facies sequences), palaeontological (biostratigraphic ranges), geochemical (stable isotope analyses) and detrital zircon (ID-TIMS) data from a new site in the Xhariep District of the South African Karoo Basin, we demonstrate that the Permian-Triassic boundary sequence containing evidence for phased tetrapod extinctions is time equivalent with the marine extinction. We conclude that the terrestrial EPME recorded in the Karoo may be regarded as essentially synchronous with the EPME currently defined in the marine realm, and was likely the result of the same volcanically-induced atmospheric disturbances. This study describes the first single, vertical succession of vertebrate and plant fossils that span the terrestrial Permian-Triassic boundary that are also well-constrained both by relative (stable isotopes) and absolute (detrital zircon geochronology) dating methods.
  • References (141)
  • Citations (2)
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References141
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#1Fernando Abdala (CONICET: National Scientific and Technical Research Council)H-Index: 26
#2Leandro C. Gaetano (Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales)H-Index: 3
Last. Bruce S. Rubidge (University of the Witwatersrand)H-Index: 30
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#1Mark J. MacDougall (Museum für Naturkunde)H-Index: 10
#2Neil Brocklehurst (University of Oxford)H-Index: 2
Last. Jörg Fröbisch (Humboldt University of Berlin)H-Index: 16
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The amniote clade Parareptilia is notable in that members of the clade exhibited a wide array of morphologies, were successful in a variety of ecological niches and survived the end-Permian mass ex...
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#1Peter D. Roopnarine (China University of Geosciences)H-Index: 21
#2Kenneth D. Angielczyk (FMNH: Field Museum of Natural History)H-Index: 30
Last. Ashley A. Dineen (California Academy of Sciences)H-Index: 5
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Abstract The geological persistence of biotic assemblages and their reorganization or destruction by mass extinctions are key features of long-term macroevolutionary and macroecological patterns in the fossil record. These events affected biotic history disproportionately and left permanent imprints on global biodiversity. Here we hypothesize that the geological persistence and incumbency of paleocommunities and taxa are maintained by patterns of biotic interactions that favour the ecological pe...
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#1Christopher R. Fielding (NU: University of Nebraska–Lincoln)H-Index: 43
#2Tracy D. Frank (NU: University of Nebraska–Lincoln)H-Index: 26
Last. James L. Crowley (BSU: Boise State University)H-Index: 36
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Past studies of the end-Permian extinction (EPE), the largest biotic crisis of the Phanerozoic, have not resolved the timing of events in southern high-latitudes. Here we use palynology coupled with high-precision CA-ID-TIMS dating of euhedral zircons from continental sequences of the Sydney Basin, Australia, to show that the collapse of the austral Permian Glossopteris flora occurred prior to 252.3 Ma (~370 kyrs before the main marine extinction). Weathering proxies indicate that floristic chan...
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The most severe mass extinction among animals took place in the latest Permian (ca. 252 million years ago). Due to scarce and impoverished fossil floras from the earliest Triassic, the common perception has been that land plants likewise suffered a mass extinction, but doubts remained. Here we use global occurrence data of both plant macro- and microfossils to analyse plant biodiversity development across the Permian–Triassic boundary. We show that the plant fossil record is strongly biased and ...
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#1Pia A. Viglietti (University of the Witwatersrand)H-Index: 7
#2Roger M.H. Smith (University of the Witwatersrand)H-Index: 13
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Abstract Important palaeoenvironmental differences are identified during deposition of the latest Permian Daptocephalus Assemblage Zone (DaAZ) of the South African Beaufort Group (Karoo Supergoup), which is also divided into a Lower and Upper subzone. A lacustrine floodplain facies association showing evidence for higher water tables and subaqueous conditions on the floodplains is present in Lower DaAZ. The change to well-drained floodplain facies association in the Upper DaAZ is coincident with...
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#1Neil J. Tabor (SMU: Southern Methodist University)H-Index: 27
#2Christian A. Sidor (UW: University of Washington)H-Index: 28
Last. Kenneth D. Angielczyk (FMNH: Field Museum of Natural History)H-Index: 30
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ABSTRACT Stable carbon isotope analysis of coexisting soil calcite and organic matter sampled from modern, California soil profiles representing 18 different U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) official soil series yields 51 paired calcite–organic matter δ13C values (Δ13Ccc-om values). These paired values correspond to atmospheric pCO2 estimates ranging from less than ~100 to 2200 ppmv using standard assumed soil pCO2 concentrations at temperatures spanning the typical range of modern soil cal...
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#1Pia A. Viglietti (University of the Witwatersrand)H-Index: 7
#2Dirk Frei (UWC: University of the Western Cape)H-Index: 4
Last. Roger M.H. Smith (University of the Witwatersrand)H-Index: 13
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Abstract Detrital zircon U-Pb age dating was used for provenance determination and maximum age of deposition for the Upper Permian (upper Teekloof and Balfour formations) and Lower Triassic (Katberg Formation) lithostratigraphic subdivisions of the Beaufort Group of South Africa's Karoo Basin. Ten samples were analysed using laser ablation - single collector - magnetic sectorfield - inductively coupled plasma - mass spectrometry (LA-SF-ICP-MS). The results reveal a dominant Late Carboniferous-La...
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#1Daoliang Chu (China University of Geosciences)H-Index: 11
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Abstract Correlation between marine and continental Permian-Triassic (P-Tr) strata is crucial for full understanding of the nature of this global extinction event, but it has proved difficult to achieve. Here, we show that two sections in South China and North China record similar mixed continental-marine biota in the post-extinction stratigraphic interval, including conchostracans, plants, insects, marine bivalves and lingulid brachiopods. In addition, the continental P-Tr mass extinction was r...
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#1Pia A. Viglietti (University of the Witwatersrand)H-Index: 7
#2Bruce S. Rubidge (University of the Witwatersrand)H-Index: 30
Last. Roger M.H. Smith (University of the Witwatersrand)H-Index: 13
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Late Permian Karoo Basin tectonics in South Africa are reflected as two fining-upward megacycles in the Balfour and upper Teekloof formations. Foreland tectonics are used to explain the cyclic nature and distribution of sedimentation, caused by phases of loading and unloading in the southern source areas adjacent to the basin. New data supports this model, and identifies potential climatic effects on the tectonic regime. Diachronous second-order subaerial unconformities (SU) are identified at th...
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Abstract Research on the Permian-Triassic boundary (PTB) along the northern margins of Pangaea (exposed today in the Arctic region) has been heavily reliant on field observations, where data resolution was consequently determined by outcrop condition and accessibility. Core drilling in central Spitsbergen allowed for a near-complete recovery of two ~90 m cores through the PTB. Analyses of the core and nearby outcrops include stratigraphic logging and sampling, XRF scanning, petrography, biostrat...
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#1Robert A. Gastaldo (Colby College)H-Index: 32
#2L KamoSandra (U of T: University of Toronto)H-Index: 36
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The current model for the end-Permian terrestrial ecosystem crisis holds that systematic loss exhibited by an abrupt turnover from the Daptocephalus to the Lystrosaurus Assemblage Zone (AZ; Karoo Basin, South Africa) is time equivalent with the marine Permian–Triassic boundary (PTB). The marine event began at 251.941 ± 0.037 Ma, with the PTB placed at 251.902 ± 0.024 Ma (2σ). Radio-isotopic dates over this interval in the Karoo Basin were limited to one high resolution ash-fall deposit in the up...
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