New paper by He et al.

New paper out in Science Advances by Tianchen He et al. entitled “An enormous sulfur isotope excursion indicates marine anoxia during the end-Triassic mass extinction”.

Our study shows that ocean anoxia had a causal role during the end-Triassic mass extinction, further highlighting the similarity between the volcanic greenhouse gas-driven mass extinctions of the Late Palaeozoic-Early Mesozoic during the time of the supercontinent Pangaea.

CAS profiles - figure 2 from He et al. 2020
Figure 2 from He et al. 2020 showing CAS profiles across the Triassic-Jurassic boundary from the study area in Sicily (Mount Sparagio) and comparable sections in the UK and USA.

Our evidence is based on carbonate-associated sulphate (CAS) (𝛿34S) analysis which depicts a marked sulphur isotope excursion at the level of the marine mass extinction and is best explained by a massive increase in pyrite burial, which is consistent with large-scale anoxia on the Panthalassan margin and NW European continental shelf.

This work was led by Dr Tiachen He and is based upon fieldwork and initial analyses completed by SEE Leeds MGeol student, Emily Turner.

The work was funded by the Leverhulme Trust, the National Natural Science Foundation of China and NERC.


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