Basaltic volcanism and mass extinction at the Permo-Triassic boundary : environmental impact and modelling of the global carbon cycle

Grard, A. and François, L. M. and Dessert, C. and Dupré, B. and Goddéris, Y. (2005) Basaltic volcanism and mass extinction at the Permo-Triassic boundary : environmental impact and modelling of the global carbon cycle. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 234 (1-2). pp. 207-221. ISSN 0012-821X DOI 10.1016/j.epsl.2005.02.027

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Abstract

The Siberian Traps represent one of the most voluminous continental flood basalt provinces on Earth. The mass extinction at the end of the Permian was the most severe in the history of life. In the present paper, these two major concurrent events that occurred are analysed and a geochemical model coupled with an energy balance model is used to calculate their environmental impact on atmospheric CO2, oceanic δ13C, and marine anoxia. The latitudinal temperature gradient is reduced relative to today, resulting in warmer temperatures at high latitudes. The warmer climate and the presence of fresh basaltic provinces increase the weatherability of the continental surfaces, resulting in an enhanced consumption of atmospheric CO2 through weathering. First, the eruption of the Siberian traps is accompanied by a massive volume of 13C depleted CO2 degassed from the mantle and added to the ocean through silicate weathering, thus lowering marine δ13C. Second, the rapid collapse in productivity induces a strong decrease in the global organic carbon burial. This too tends to increase the proportion of light carbon in the ocean. These two effects can explain the low δ13C values across the PT boundary, and methane release need not be invoked to explain the δ13C fluctuations. It is proposed that the phosphorus cycle, which drives primary production in the model, plays an important role on the recovery of productivity and the δ13C variations.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 2005 AREP IA47 IA48 2005 P
Subjects: 01 - Climate Change and Earth-Ocean Atmosphere Systems
Divisions: 01 - Climate Change and Earth-Ocean Atmosphere Systems
Journal or Publication Title: Earth and Planetary Science Letters
Volume: 234
Page Range: pp. 207-221
Identification Number: 10.1016/j.epsl.2005.02.027
Depositing User: Sarah Humbert
Date Deposited: 13 May 2011 10:48
Last Modified: 23 Jul 2013 09:58
URI: http://eprints.esc.cam.ac.uk/id/eprint/1661

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