Reports

Synchrony and Causal Relations Between Permian-Triassic Boundary Crises and Siberian Flood Volcanism

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Science  08 Sep 1995:
Vol. 269, Issue 5229, pp. 1413-1416
DOI: 10.1126/science.269.5229.1413

Abstract

The Permian-Triassic boundary records the most severe mass extinctions in Earth's history. Siberian flood volcanism, the most profuse known such subaerial event, produced 2 million to 3 million cubic kilometers of volcanic ejecta in approximately 1 million years or less. Analysis of 40Ar/39Ar data from two tuffs in southern China yielded a date of 250.0 ± 0.2 million years ago for the Permian-Triassic boundary, which is comparable to the inception of main stage Siberian flood volcanism at 250.0 ± 0.3 million years ago. Volcanogenic sulfate aerosols and the dynamic effects of the Siberian plume likely contributed to environmental extrema that led to the mass extinctions.