Marine Anoxia and Ocean Acidification During the End-Permian Extinction: An Integrated View From δ238U and δ44/40Ca Proxies and Earth System Modeling

Ying Cui, Feifei Zhang, Jiuyuan Wang, Shijun Jiang, Shuzhong Shen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

The largest mass extinction event in the Phanerozoic, known as the end-Permian mass extinction (or EPME, ca. 252 Ma) is coincident with the main eruption phase of Siberian Traps volcanism (ca. 252 to 250 Ma), a large igneous province (LIP). This LIP is estimated to have a volume larger than 2 × 106 km3 and to have released both mantle carbon dioxide (CO2) through extrusions and thermogenic methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2) through intrusions. The climatic consequences of these greenhouse gases is detrimental to both marine and terrestrial life and may have delayed the recovery of ecosystems after the extinction. Quantitatively, the amount of CO2 released can be estimated using global carbon (C) cycle model or plant and soil-based proxies with varying time resolution. In light of the recent advances in geochemical proxies of ocean anoxia and acidification, we review the latest uranium isotopes (δ238U) and calcium isotope (δ44/40Ca) records and Earth system modeling results to summarize the environmental response to the forcing of increased atmospheric CO2 concentrations. The extent of increase in oceanic anoxic area can be estimated by δ238U, and the δ44/40Ca records may be used to evaluate ocean acidification. This evidence suggests that excessive nutrient load in the ocean (decreased strength of meridional overturning circulation) and ocean acidification in poorly buffered seawater (potentially triggered by the Siberian Traps LIP) worked together to create the most severe biological crisis and delayed recovery of life in the Earth’s history.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLarge Igneous Provinces
Subtitle of host publicationA Driver of Global Environmental and Biotic Changes
Publisherwiley
Pages325-340
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9781119507444
ISBN (Print)9781119507451
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2021

Keywords

  • Calcium isotope
  • Earth system modeling
  • End-permian mass extinction
  • Large igneous province
  • Ocean acidification
  • Ocean anoxia
  • Soil-based proxies
  • Uranium isotopes

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