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End-Permian and end-Triassic mass extinctions compared + supervolcanoes

Ben Creisler

Two new papers that may be of interest:

Bas van de Schootbrugge and Paul B. Wignall (2015)
A tale of two extinctions: converging end-Permian and end-Triassic scenarios.
Geological Magazine (advance online publication)
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0016756815000643

The end-Permian (c. 252 Ma) and end-Triassic (c. 201 Ma)
mass-extinction events are commonly linked to the emplacement of the
large igneous provinces of the Siberia Traps and Central Atlantic
Magmatic Province, respectively. Accordingly, scenarios for both
extinctions are increasingly convergent and cross-fertilization of
ideas has become important. Here, we present a synthesis of extinction
scenarios based on a critical assessment of the available
palaeontological, sedimentological, geochemical and geophysical
evidence. How similar were the extinction events, what gaps exist in
our understanding and how can a comparison of the events enhance our
understanding of each event individually? Our focus is on the most
important proximate kill mechanisms including: climate change and
atmospheric pollution; increased soil erosion, weathering and runoff;
forest dieback and the spread of pathogens; and ocean temperature
changes, anoxia and acidification. There is substantial evidence to
suggest that very similar kill mechanisms acted upon late Permian as
well as Late Triassic ecosystems, strengthening the hypothesis that
the ultimate causes of the mass-extinction events were similar.

Open access:

Adam Kent (2015)
RESEARCH FOCUS: Tackling supervolcanoes: Big and fast?
Geology 43 (11): 1039-1040