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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2013-08-09
    Description: The latest Permian extinction (LPE), ca. 252 Ma, represents the most severe extinction event in Earth’s history. The cause is still debated, but widespread marine anoxic to euxinic (H 2 S rich) conditions, from deep to shallow water environments, are commonly suggested. As a proxy for marine oxygen levels, we analyzed 98/95 Mo of two LPE sections that represent a gradient in water depth on the northwest margin of Pangea. Results from deep-water slope environments show a large shift in 98/95 Mo values from –2.02 to +2.23 at the extinction horizon, consistent with onset of euxinic conditions. In contrast, sub-storm wave base shelf environments show little change in the molybdenum isotopic composition (–1.34 to +0.05), indicating ongoing oxic conditions across the LPE. These results indicate that areas of the continental shelf of northwest Pangea underwent mass extinction under oxic conditions throughout the LPE event, and that shallow-water anoxia was therefore not a global phenomenon.
    Print ISSN: 0091-7613
    Electronic ISSN: 1943-2682
    Topics: Geosciences
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