EGU General Assembly 2021
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Deep CO2 from the Central Atlantic Magmatic Province during the end-Triassic mass extinction

Manfredo Capriolo1, Andrea Marzoli2, László E Aradi3, Sara Callegaro4, Jacopo Dal Corso5, Robert J. Newton6, Benjamin J. W. Mills6, Paul B. Wignall6, Omar Bartoli1, Don R. Baker7, Nasrrddine Youbi8,9, Laurent Remusat10, Richard Spiess1, and Csaba Szabo3
Manfredo Capriolo et al.
  • 1Department of Geosciences, University of Padova, Italy
  • 2Department of Territory and Agro-Forestry Systems, University of Padova, Italy
  • 3Lithosphere Fluid Research Lab, Research and Industrial Relations Center, Faculty of Science, Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Hungary
  • 4Centre for Earth Evolution and Dynamics, University of Oslo, Norway
  • 5State Key Laboratory of Biogeology and Environmental Geology, China University of Geosciences, Wuhan, China
  • 6School of Earth and Environment, University of Leeds, United Kingdom
  • 7Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, McGill University, Montréal, Canada
  • 8Department of Geology, Faculty of Sciences-Semlalia, Cadi Ayyad University, Marrakesh, Morocco
  • 9Faculty of Geology and Geography, Tomsk State University, Tomsk, Russia
  • 10Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, CNRS, Sorbonne University, IMPMC, Paris, France

Throughout Earth’s history, the coincidence in time between Large Igneous Province eruptions and mass extinctions points out a potential causality, where volcanic degassing may drive the global-scale climatic and environmental changes leading to biotic crises. The volcanic activity of the Central Atlantic Magmatic Province (CAMP, ca. 201 Ma), one of Earth’s most voluminous Large Igneous Provinces, is synchronous with the end-Triassic mass extinction event, among the most severe extinctions during the Phanerozoic. Combining different in situ analytical techniques (optical microscopy, confocal Raman microspectroscopy, EMP, SEM-EDS, and NanoSIMS analyses), bubble-bearing melt inclusions within basaltic rocks revealed the abundance of CO2 (up to 1.0 wt.%) in CAMP magmas [1]. Gaseous COand solid elemental C, alternatively preserved by gas exsolution bubbles within melt inclusions mainly hosted in clinopyroxene crystal clots, represent direct evidence for large amounts of volcanic CO2 (up to 105 Gt) emitted into Earth’s surface during the entire CAMP activity [1]. The entrapment conditions of these melt inclusions within clinopyroxene aggregates constrain the degassed CO2 to a mantle and/or lower-middle crustal origin, indicating a deep source of carbon which may favour rapid and intense CAMP eruption pulses. Each magmatic pulse may have injected CO2 into the end-Triassic atmosphere in amounts similar to those projected for the anthropogenic emissions during the 21st century [1]. Therefore, volcanic CO2 degassed during CAMP eruptions likely contributed to end-Triassic global warming and ocean acidification with catastrophic consequences for the biosphere.


[1] Capriolo et al. (2020), Nat. Commun. 11, 1670.

How to cite: Capriolo, M., Marzoli, A., Aradi, L. E., Callegaro, S., Dal Corso, J., Newton, R. J., Mills, B. J. W., Wignall, P. B., Bartoli, O., Baker, D. R., Youbi, N., Remusat, L., Spiess, R., and Szabo, C.: Deep CO2 from the Central Atlantic Magmatic Province during the end-Triassic mass extinction, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-11189,, 2021.