Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Department of

 

ORCID IDs

0000-0002-2397-6116

0000-0002-8422-7389

0000-0001-6723-239X

0000-0003-2987-5559

Date of this Version

2019

Citation

NATURE COMMUNICATIONS | (2019) 10:385

Comments

© The Author(s) 2019

Open access

https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-018-07934-z

Abstract

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 changes occurred during a brief climate perturbation in a regional alluvial landscape that otherwise experienced insubstantial change in fluvial style, insignificant reorganization of the depositional surface, and no abrupt aridification. Palaeoclimate modelling suggests a moderate shift to warmer summer temperatures and amplified seasonality in temperature across the EPE, and warmer and wetter conditions for all seasons into the Early Triassic. The terrestrial EPE and a succeeding peak in Ni concentration in the Sydney Basin correlate, respectively, to the onset of the primary extrusive and intrusive phases of the Siberian Traps Large Igneous Province.

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