The role of temperature in the initiation of the end-Triassic mass extinction

Type Article
Date 2020-09
Language English
Author(s) Petryshyn Victoria A.1, 2, 3, Greene Sarah E.4, Farnsworth Alex5, 6, Lunt Daniel J.5, 6, Kelley Anne1, Gammariello Robert1, Ibarra Yadira7, Bottjer David J.8, Tripati Aradhna1, 2, 9, Corsetti Frank A.8
Affiliation(s) 1 : Department of Earth, Planetary and Space Sciences; Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, Center for Diverse Leadership in Science; University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA
2 : European Institute of Marine Sciences (IUEM), Université de Bretagne Occidentale, UMR 6538/6539, Rue Dumont D'Urville, and IFREMER, Plouzané, France
3 : Environmental Studies Program, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90089, USA
4 : School of Geography, Earth, and Environmental Sciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham B15 2TT, UK
5 : BRIDGE, School of Geographical Sciences, University of Bristol, Bristol BS8 1SS, UK
6 : Cabot Institute, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK
7 : San Francisco State University, Department of Earth and Climate Sciences, San Francisco, CA 94132, USA
8 : Department of Earth Sciences, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90089, USA
9 : Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, American Indian Studies Center University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA
10 : European Institute of Marine Sciences (IUEM), Université de Bretagne Occidentale, UMR 6538/6539, Rue Dumont D'Urville, and IFREMER, Plouzané, France
Source Earth-science Reviews (0012-8252) (Elsevier BV), 2020-09 , Vol. 208 , P. 103266 (13p.)
DOI 10.1016/j.earscirev.2020.103266
Keyword(s) End-Triassic extinction, Clumped isotopes, Triassic-Jurassic boundary, Microbialite, Climate model, Paleoclimate
Abstract

The end-Triassic mass extinction coincided with the eruption of the Central Atlantic Magmatic Province, a large igneous province responsible for the massive atmospheric input of potentially climate-altering volatile compounds that is associated with a sharp rise in atmospheric CO2. The extinction mechanism is debated, but both short-term cooling (~10s of years) related to sulfur aerosols and longer-term warming (10,000 yrs) related to CO2 emissions—essentially opposite hypotheses—are suggested triggers. Until now, no temperature records spanning this crucial interval were available to provide a baseline or to differentiate between hypothesized mechanisms. Here, we use clumped-isotope paleothermometry of shallow marine microbialites coupled with climate modeling to reconstruct ocean temperature at the extinction horizon. We find mild to warm ocean temperatures during the extinction event and evidence for repeated temperature swings of ~16 °C, which we interpret as a signature of strong seasonality. These results constitute the oldest non-biomineralized marine seasonal temperature record. We resolve no apparent evidence for short-term cooling or initial warming across the 1-80kyr of the extinction event our record captures, implying that the initial onset of the biodiversity crisis may necessitate another mechanism.

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Petryshyn Victoria A., Greene Sarah E., Farnsworth Alex, Lunt Daniel J., Kelley Anne, Gammariello Robert, Ibarra Yadira, Bottjer David J., Tripati Aradhna, Corsetti Frank A. (2020). The role of temperature in the initiation of the end-Triassic mass extinction. Earth-science Reviews, 208, 103266 (13p.). Publisher's official version : https://doi.org/10.1016/j.earscirev.2020.103266 , Open Access version : https://archimer.ifremer.fr/doc/00641/75267/