Mass Extinctions, Volcanism, Impacts and Extreme Environmental Changes

This session will investigate how massive volcanism and meteorite impacts may cause mass extinctions and global environmental changes. We hope to bring together researchers from the geological, geophysical, and biological disciplines to present new and exciting results, and encourage interdisciplinary and modelling studies. The session will focus on the five major Phanerozoic crises (end-Ordovician, end-Devonian, end-Permian, end-Triassic, end-Cretaceous) and other related paleoenvironmental crises (e.g. Anthropocene, the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) and Oceanic Anoxic Events (OEAs) in the Mesozoic).

Public information:
SSP networking events are scheduled as follows:

1) SSP & OS networking event for Early-Career Scientist members: Tuesday 20 April, 12:30–13:30 (CEST)
2) SSP-networking event for all division members: Tuesday 20 April, 17:00–18:00 (CEST)

These events are perfect opportunities to enjoy a discussion with your friends and colleagues stratigraphers, sedimentologists and paleontologists. Please feel free to join !
Co-organized by GMPV10
Convener: Alicia FantasiaECSECS | Co-conveners: Thierry Adatte, David Bond, Sverre Planke, Nicolas Thibault
vPICO presentations
| Tue, 27 Apr, 09:00–12:30 (CEST)
Public information:
SSP networking events are scheduled as follows:

1) SSP & OS networking event for Early-Career Scientist members: Tuesday 20 April, 12:30–13:30 (CEST)
2) SSP-networking event for all division members: Tuesday 20 April, 17:00–18:00 (CEST)

These events are perfect opportunities to enjoy a discussion with your friends and colleagues stratigraphers, sedimentologists and paleontologists. Please feel free to join !

vPICO presentations: Tue, 27 Apr

Chairpersons: Alicia Fantasia, Thierry Adatte, Sverre Planke
Robert J. Newton, Tianchen He, Jacopo Dal Corso, Paul Wignall, Ben Mills, and Alex Dunhill

Records of sulfur cycling during mass extinction events increasingly show that they are associated with rapid shifts in the sulfur isotope composition of seawater indicative of low concentrations of ocean sulfate [1-4]. These events are also often associated with the spread of anoxic conditions in the marine realm. We propose a feedback mechanism whereby the production of methane in marine sediments increases in proportion to decreasing sulfate and consumes bottom water oxygen, thus acting as a positive feedback on spread of anoxic waters. This can be further amplified via increased weathering or recycled fluxes of phosphate enhancing productivity [e.g. 5], the effects of increasing temperature on the rate of methanogenesis and the additional suppression of marine sulfate via increased pyrite burial.

We propose that sulfate drawdown occurs prior to climate forcing and other extinction drivers imposed by large igneous province (LIP) eruption. The likely mechanism for the drawdown of sulfate prior to these extinction is the removal of sulfate from the oceans as gypsum in evaporite deposits. Several large mid-Phanerozoic mass extinctions have clear evidence of increased evaporite deposition prior to, or approximately coincidental with LIP eruption and extinction.

If this idea is correct, the biological impact of a LIP will partly depend on the sulfate status of the ocean at the time of its eruption, and may at least partly explain the observation that whilst many mass extinctions are associated temporally with a LIP, not all LIPs seem to cause mass extinctions.

1. Newton, R.J., et al., Geology, 2011. 39(1): p. 7-10.

2. Song, H., et al., Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 2014. 128(0): p. 95-113.

3. Witts, J.D., et al., Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 2018. 230: p. 17-45.

4. He, T., et al., Science Advances, 2020. 6(37): p. eabb6704.

5. Schobben, M., et al., Nature Geoscience, 2020. 

How to cite: Newton, R. J., He, T., Dal Corso, J., Wignall, P., Mills, B., and Dunhill, A.: Ocean sulfate scarcity as a pre-condition for Large Igneous Province driven mass extinction, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-16391,, 2021.

Joost Frieling, Isabel Fendley, and Tamsin Mather

Over the past few years, mercury (Hg) concentrations in (predominantly) marine sediments have gained widespread attention as a far-field, high-temporal resolution proxy for deep-time enhanced volcanic activity. The primary focus of these Hg studies has been a range of events in the past 500 million years; mostly larger and smaller mass extinctions and periods of high-amplitude climate change. As a result, sedimentary Hg data reinforced the notion many of these events are indeed coeval with and hypothesized causally connected to large igneous provinces (LIPs). 

However, relatively poor constraints on long-term dispersal of emissions through the marine and terrestrial biosphere, accumulation and preservation mechanisms of Hg pose difficulties for its use as a qualitative proxy for enhanced volcanic emissions. As a result, using sedimentary Hg for detailed modeling of Hg cycling or past gaseous emissions of magmatic volatiles, e.g. carbon and sulfur, and by extension environmental impact, remains speculative.

The use of Hg normalization to common Hg-binding sedimentary components such as organic carbon (TOC), Fe or Al provides a basic means of comparing relative Hg loading within a sedimentary sequence. Yet, normalizing Hg to these major sedimentary components relies on simple linear relations and this approach often leaves substantial variance. While the high Hg concentrations have usually been ascribed to variability in volcanic activity, there are likely other factors that may invoke changes in the Hg concentrations in sediments, or mask Hg emitted by volcanism such as amount or type and flux of organic matter being deposited in basins and oxygenation of water and local sediments.

To evaluate potential confounding factors, we compiled published Hg, TOC and bulk and trace element data, modern and deep-time events, periods with and without known anomalous volcanic activity and cover a range of depositional settings. We find that the depositional setting, as inferred from lithology and bulk sediment chemistry exerts a major control on the overall concentrations of Hg. Differences in Hg loading between time-correlative deposits persist after normalization to major sedimentary components, likely as a result of a complex interplay between various spatial and environmental factors. Our data compilation further allows us to explore the potential of establishing a range for background Hg values and variability through different periods of geological deep-time. Collectively, such constraints can aid the understanding of changes induced by environmental factors or volcanic emissions and inform Hg-cycling models.

How to cite: Frieling, J., Fendley, I., and Mather, T.: Broadscale evaluation of the sedimentary Hg proxy for volcanism – insights from data compilation, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-9548,, 2021.

Michiel Arts, Bradley Cramer, Mikael Calner, Christian Rasmussen, Alyssa Bancroft, Stephan Oborny, Emma Hartke, Ellie Biebesheimer, and Anne-Christine Da Silva

The Ireviken Biogeochemical Event (IBE) consists of the Ireviken Extinction Event (IEE) and is superseded by the Ireviken positive d13Ccarb Excursion (ICIE). During the Ireviken Extinction Event 80% of the conodont species and 50% of the trilobite species went extinct and Acritarchs, chitinozoans, graptolites, corals, and brachiopods communities were severely affected as well. Currently there are no indications that the Ireviken Biogeochemical event can be linked to a LIP or a bolide impact which are the usual triggers for most known biogeochemical events. The IBE has been tentatively linked to SEDEX brine expulsion, however convincing high-resolution data supporting the SEDEX brine expulsion theory was lacking.

The Altajme core from Gotland Sweden covers the entirety of the Ireviken Biogeochemical Event and using an ITRAX XRF core scanner  we were able to create a new dataset with a 1cm(~150-400 yr.) resolution. This dataset enables us to shed new light on the origin of the IBE and serves as a template for a cyclostratigraphic age model (using the detrital proxies of Ti and Al) which puts the IBE within a precise temporal framework.

The occurrence of peak values of Nb, Mn, Cu, Ba, Pb, Zn, As, Ag in the Altajme core follows the temporal sequence of element peaks which is characteristic for the cooling of a hydrothermal system. A Pb:Zn ratio of >1 and low Cu/(Zn+Pb) ratio categorises the hydrothermal system as being the sedimentary exhalative (SEDEX) brine expulsion type system. Through these results we can undoubtedly link the Ireviken Biogeochemical Event to a SEDEX brine expulsion. Numerous SEDEX style ore deposits of Proterozoic to Cenozoic age are known, but it has been difficult to connect them with similarly aged biogeochemical events.  This study demonstrates that through extremely high resolution XRF/element data we can observe the far-field signature of a SEDEX brine expulsion and thus showing us the way to recognize more biogeochemical events triggered by SEDEX brine expulsions. 

How to cite: Arts, M., Cramer, B., Calner, M., Rasmussen, C., Bancroft, A., Oborny, S., Hartke, E., Biebesheimer, E., and Da Silva, A.-C.: A sequence of temporally separated element peaks; the fingerprint of a biogeochemical event initiated by sedimentary exhalative (SEDEX) brine expulsion, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-12461,, 2021.

Linda Elkins-Tanton, Steven Grasby, Benjamin Black, Roman Veselovskiy, Omid Ardakani, and Fariborz Goodarzi

The Permo-Triassic Extinction was the most severe in Earth history. The Siberian Traps eruptions are strongly implicated in the global atmospheric changes that likely drove the extinction. A sharp negative carbon isotope excursion coincides within geochronological uncertainty with the oldest dated rocks from the Norilsk section of the Siberian flood basalts. The source of this light carbon has been debated for decades.

We focused on the voluminous volcaniclastic rocks of the Siberian Traps, relatively unstudied as potential carriers of carbon-bearing gases. Over six field seasons we collected rocks from across the Siberian platform and show the first direct evidence that the earliest eruptions particularly in the southern part of the province burned large volumes of a combination of vegetation and coal. Samples from the Maymecha-Kotuy region, from the Nizhnyaya Tunguska, Podkamennaya Tunguska, and Angara Rivers all show evidence of high-temperature organic matter carbonization and combustion.

Field evidence indicates a process in which ascending magmas entrain xenoliths of coal and carbonaceous sediments that are carbonized in the subsurface and also combusted either through reduction of magmas or when exposed to the atmosphere. We demonstrate that the volume and composition of organic matter interactions with magmas may explain the global carbon isotope signal, and have significantly driven the extinction.

How to cite: Elkins-Tanton, L., Grasby, S., Black, B., Veselovskiy, R., Ardakani, O., and Goodarzi, F.: Field evidence for coal combustion links the 252 My-old Siberian Traps with global carbon disruption, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-9955,, 2021.

Stephen Grasby, David Bond, Paul Wignall, Runsheng Yin, Lorna Strachan, Satoshi Takahashi, and Omid Ardakani

The deep-water record of marine anoxia across the Permo-Triassic mass extinction (PTME) is highly controversial; both the length of time and severity of anoxic conditions are uncertain. Panthalassa Ocean circulation models show varying results, ranging from a well-ventilated deep ocean to rapidly developing northern, but not southern, latitude anoxia in response to Siberian Traps driven global warming. To address this uncertainty we examined a southern paleo-latitude pelagic record. Trace metal and pyrite framboid data show bottom water euxinc conditions developed in the southern Panthalassa Ocean at the PTME, coincident with enhanced volcanic activity indicated by Hg geochemistry. While a global deep-ocean euxinic event at the PTME placed extraordinary stress on marine life, southern surface waters appear to have recovered more quickly as radiolarian populations return several million years before they do in northern Panthalassa.

How to cite: Grasby, S., Bond, D., Wignall, P., Yin, R., Strachan, L., Takahashi, S., and Ardakani, O.: Deep marine anoxia of the southern Panthalassa during the Permian-Triassic – global impacts of the Siberian Traps, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-13733,, 2021.

Alexander G. Polozov, Sverre Planke, John A. Millett, Dmitrii A. Zastrozhnov, Kirill V. Ponkratov, Dougal A. Jerram, and Henrik H. Svensen

Tree trunks in lava flows and volcaniclastics of the Siberian Traps witness volcanic activity's violent and rapid onset. Carbonized and petrified trees preserve the peak metamorphic temperatures, which can be estimated using Raman spectroscopy. We have conducted a Raman study of the tree trunks and wooden fragments trapped in the Siberian Traps volcaniclastics and lavas on the Tunguska basin's northwestern region (Norilsk area). The first sample set was taken from volcaniclastic rocks of the Kureika River. The second sample set was collected from the lowermost lava flow of Ivakinskaya Formation that erupted directly on the end-Permian boggy surface (Tunguska Group of Carboniferous-Permian age) and from the coal-bearing inter lava seam at Red Rocks outcrop near Talnakh. The third sample set was taken from in the basal part of the Ivakinskaya Fm lowermost lava flow erupted in a shallow water basin with pillow basalt formation (Ore Brook near Norilsk). The fourth sample set was taken from an open coal pit with shallow dolerites intruded into the late Permian part of the Tunguska Group (near Kajerkan). We analyzed carbonized wood with a Renishaw InVia Qontor with 532 nm laser and processed all spectra with Henry et al. (2018) recommendations. The peak metamorphic temperature was calculated from Deldicque et al. (2016) equation 2. The tree trunks of the first sample set (Kureika River volcaniclastics) have a narrow median temperature range (430-468oC with one sample of 612oC). The second sample set from tree trunks in lavas and the coal-bearing inter lava seam (Red Rocks near Talnakh) ranges between 343-658oC and 742-764oC. The third sample set from pillow basalt at the basal part of Ivakinskaya Fm. (Ore Brook near Norilsk) also has a narrow temperature range (503-535oC with one sample of 650oC). The last sample set from the open coal pit (near Kajerkan) has a wide median temperature range (388-632oC).

We explain these variations by different styles of the Siberian Traps eruption. At the Kureika River, the end-Permian forest was buried and carbonized by tephra. At the Talnakh area, lava flow erupted on the boggy surface, whereas in the Norilsk area, the lava flow erupted into the freshwater basin.


Henry, D.G. et al. (2018). Int. J Coal Geol, 191: 135-151

Deldicque, D. et al. (2016). Carbon, 102: 319-329

How to cite: Polozov, A. G., Planke, S., Millett, J. A., Zastrozhnov, D. A., Ponkratov, K. V., Jerram, D. A., and Svensen, H. H.: Raman estimates of the thermal effect on tree trunks in the Siberian Traps lavas and volcaniclastics, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-12938,, 2021.

Lars Eivind Augland, Sverre Planke, Valentin Zuchuat, Morgan Jones, Kim Senger, Peter Betlem, Tom Birchall, William Hagopian, and Henrik Svensen

The Permian period ended with a mass extinction event about 252 million years ago. A likely trigger of the mass extinction was the eruption of large volumes of magma which had moved through the Tunguska Basin in Siberia. The renowned Festningen section in the outer part of Isfjorden, western Spitsbergen, offers a c. 7 km long nearly continuous stratigraphic section of Lower Carboniferous to Cenozoic strata, where the end-Permian extinction interval is well-exposed. Tectonic deformation associated with the Paleogene West Spitsbergen fold-and-thrust-belt tilted the strata to near-vertical, allowing easy access along the shoreline. The section is a regionally important stratigraphic reference profile and is a key locality for geologists visiting Svalbard. The main objective of our fieldwork in September 2020 was to collect closely spaced mudstone (0.25 to 1 m interval) and ash layer (6 layers of 0.5 to 1.5 cm thickness) samples across the Festningen Permian-Triassic boundary for chemostratigraphic and geochronological assessments. Carbon isotope data reveal a well-defined negative deltaC13 excursion in the lower part of the Vardebukta Fm. Zircons are present in most of the ash layer samples and these will be dated at the University of Oslo TIMS U-Pb Isotope Geology Laboratory. In this contribution, we will also present a new digital outcrop model of the P-Tr boundary section acquired using a UAV (Mavic 2 Pro, 20MP Hasselblad camera). During acquisition, the maximum drone speed was set to 1 meter/second (i.e., “tripod mode”), and photographs were taken automatically at set time intervals (e.g., 1 photo every 5 seconds ≈ meters). The digital outcrop model offers a pixel resolution of 7.27 mm/pixel. The Festningen model will be available online through the geoscience data platform.

How to cite: Augland, L. E., Planke, S., Zuchuat, V., Jones, M., Senger, K., Betlem, P., Birchall, T., Hagopian, W., and Svensen, H.: High-resolution Sampling and Photogrammetry of the Permian-Triassic Boundary Within the Festningen Profile, Svalbard, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-15598,, 2021.

Sofie Lindström, Sara Callegaro, Joshua Davies, Christian Tegner, Bas van de Schootbrugge, Gunver K. Pedersen, Nasrrddine Youbi, Hamed Sanei, and Andrea Marzoli

The end-Triassic mass extinction (ETME) is thought to have been caused by voluminous, pulsed volcanic activity of the Central Atlantic Magmatic Province (CAMP). Over the last decades, various geochemical signals and proxy records, including δ13C, pCO2, iridium and other platinum-group elements, mercury, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), charcoal and SO2, have been directly or indirectly attributed to CAMP magmatism. Here, we compile and discuss these various records in a stratigraphic framework to present a cohesive chain of events for the CAMP and the end-Triassic mass extinction. Mercury and iridium anomalies  indicate that CAMP activity commenced prior to the onset of the marine extinctions (as marked by the last occurrence of the Triassic ammonoid Choristoceras marshi or closely related species), and a negative δ13C excursion in organic matter (the Marshi CIE). This CIE may be explained by input of light carbon to the atmosphere from CAMP lavas of the Tiourjdal and Prevalent groups. Pedogenic carbonate below and above the Prevalent group in North America indicates a more than twofold increase in atmospheric pCO2. Subsequent n-alkane C-isotopes, and stomatal pCO2 data seem to indicate a temporary cooling after the Marshi CIE, which is consistent with climate models incorporating volcanic emissions of both CO2 and SO2. Records of excess iridium and Hg/TOC indicate intensified magmatism during the extinction interval. Tectonic and perhaps epeirogenic (i.e. doming due to rise of magma) activity is suggested by the occurrence of multiple and widespread seismites in Europe. Atmospheric pCO2 proxies indicate global warming, which culminated contemporaneously with a second negative CIE (the Spelae CIE) at the level of the first occurrence of the ammonoid Psiloceras spelae, the index taxon fot the Triassic−Jurassic boundary (TJB). Global warming at this level is corroborated by increased wildfire activity testified by charcoal and pyrolytic PAH records. Just prior to the increase in pCO2 from stomatal proxy data, fossil plants exhibit SO2-induced damage indicating excess sulfur dioxide deposition priot to and across the TJB. This coincides with increased ratios of heavy molecular PAHs (coronene/benzo(a)pyrene) in sediments, which may suggest metamorphism of organic sediments also occurred across the TJB. This suggests that thermogenic release of light carbon and sulfur from sill intrusions in the Trans-Amazonian basins, where both evaporate- and organic-rich sediments are known to have been intruded, may have played an important role during the course of the ETME. Geochemical traces of magmatism, i.e. Ir and Hg, appear to have gradually disappeared during the Hettangian, suggesting that later phases of CAMP were less voluminous. Stomatal proxy data from Greenland and n-alkane C-isotope data from the UK, together with oxygen isotope data from carbonate fossils in the UK, may indicate that the global warming at the Spelae CIE was succeeded by another short-term cooling event. A gradual decrease in δ13C culminated at the top-Tilmanni CIE, marking the beginning of a long-term steady state with more negative C-isotope values than prior to the ETME. At this time, terrestrial ecosystems appear to have stabilized globally and ammonoids had begun to rediversify.

How to cite: Lindström, S., Callegaro, S., Davies, J., Tegner, C., van de Schootbrugge, B., Pedersen, G. K., Youbi, N., Sanei, H., and Marzoli, A.: Tracing volcanic emissions from the CAMP volcanism in the sedimentary and biotic record, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-10813,, 2021.

Manfredo Capriolo, Andrea Marzoli, László E Aradi, Sara Callegaro, Jacopo Dal Corso, Robert J. Newton, Benjamin J. W. Mills, Paul B. Wignall, Omar Bartoli, Don R. Baker, Nasrrddine Youbi, Laurent Remusat, Richard Spiess, and Csaba Szabo

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.

Remco Bos, Sofie Lindström, Hamed Sanei, Irene Waajen, Appy Sluijs, and Bas van de Schootbrugge

The Central Atlantic Magmatic Province (CAMP) eruptions are generally regarded as the main driver of major environmental change and mass-extinction across the Triassic-Jurassic (TJ) boundary (~201.3 Ma), but the exact mechanisms linking volcanism and extinction, resilience, and recovery remain poorly constrained. Volcanogenic mercury (Hg) has been implicated as the cause for mutations in spores/pollen indicating severe ecological stress in terrestrial vegetation. Indeed, elevated sedimentary Hg concentrations coincide with the extinction interval at multiple sites across Europe. Here we show, palynological and geochemical records that gives insight in the dynamics between the Hg cycle and terrestrial vegetation, indicating repeated phytotoxicity in Early Jurassic deposits.

The abundance of mutagenic spores and the concentration of Hg are quantified in shallow marine sediments in the Schandelah-1 core (northern Germany) across the T/J boundary and the Early Jurassic (Hettangian). The results show increased mutagenic spore abundances with accompanying Hg/TOC anomalies across the end-Triassic extinction and within the lowermost Hettangian. This is consistent with studies from Sweden and Denmark and therefore confirming synchronous mutagenesis in and around coastal European margins. In addition, the Hettangian of Schandelah contains a record of long-term vegetational disturbance in the form of recurrent fern spikes and elevated mutagenic spore intervals, accompanied by Hg/TOC anomalies of similar magnitude. This suggests an overall link between volcanogenic pollution and vegetational disturbance. Based on qualitative analyses of organic matter (OM), which show an overall positive correlation between Hg concentration and terrestrial indicators, alternative sources for sedimentary Hg-enrichment such as vegetation reservoirs should be considered. This characterization of OM indicates an intermediate step in the Hg cycle, likely mediated by vegetation and/or climate feedbacks.

Atmospheric Hg-loading via volcanism can explain the synchronous enrichments of Hg concentrations at the TJ boundary interval in multiple sites across the globe. In contrast, the Hettangian anomalies of Schandelah-1, appear to be mainly driven by environmental/ecological perturbations corresponding to intensifying warm/humid conditions. Extreme seasonality alternating between high rainfall and droughts, perhaps due to eccentricity maxima, leading to increased soil erosion, wildfires and transport/degradation of terrestrial OM could potentially recycle and redistribute Hg long after initial deposition. These implications suggest a more dominant role of climate-induced Hg-remobilization, rather than direct volcanic emissions, to the mutagenesis in terrestrial vegetation. This could, in addition, lead to asynchronous and local impacts mainly in the proximity of landmasses.

How to cite: Bos, R., Lindström, S., Sanei, H., Waajen, I., Sluijs, A., and van de Schootbrugge, B.: Early Jurassic phytotoxicity due to Hg-remobilization, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-1069,, 2021.

Ingrid Urban and Sylvain Richoz

The End-Triassic Mass Extinction (ETME) is one of the five major mass extinctions of the Phanerozoic. The deposition of ooids is atypically high in the direct aftermath of major extinction events, including the ETME. Ooids were intensively investigated both petrographically and sedimentologically in the past decades; but only recently their potentialities as archives for the original chemical composition of the oceans where they formed, have gained awareness. Here we present stratigraphical, sedimentological and geochemical aspects for a mid-Norian-Hettangian section from the Emirates.

Petrographic analyses provided a detailed morphological classification of post-ETME coated grains, supported by point counting of two isochronous geological sections. FE-SE-EDX imaging unraveled peculiar µm-scale features linked to morphology, diagenesis and biotic interaction in the cortex. LA-ICP-MS analyses were performed for specific major and trace elements. Post-extinction oolites show high variability in size and development of the cortex. They range from small (~ 300 µm) and superficial coating, to bigger (up to 800 µm) and well developed. The degree of micritization highlights different oxic conditions in the diagenetic environment. LA-ICP-MS analyses give insights into seawater redox conditions during ooids formation, siliciclastic contamination, diagenetic processes and the role of bacterial strain in shaping the ooids. Petrographical and geochemical data point out to a calcitic deposition of these ooids as odd with the general consideration that the Late Triassic to Early Jurassic was part of the Aragonite sea. This has major implication on the understanding of the carbonate saturation in the oceans just after the mass-extinction and on the interpretation of several proxies as the C and Ca isotope-system.



How to cite: Urban, I. and Richoz, S.: Calcite interval in aragonite seas: Geochemical characterization of post-extinction oolites at the Triassic-Jurassic boundary and their implications, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-12423,, 2021.

Ailsa Roper, Clemens Ullmann, Crispin Little, Simon Poulton, Paul Wignall, Tianchen He, and Robert Newton

Studying the long-term evolution of nutrient cycles and their interaction with other biogeochemical cycles is essential to understand Earth’s history. Marine nutrient cycling forms a key control on the cycling of carbon and oxygen in the bio- and geospheres. Here, we focus on phosphorus, which is the ultimate limiting nutrient on geological timescales and a potential driver of past intervals of marine anoxia/euxinia. Despite its importance, obtaining direct information on spatial and temporal variations in marine phosphorus concentrations has proved challenging. Recent work has demonstrated the potential for calcium carbonate-associated phosphorus in corals to record water-column phosphorus (e.g., LaVigne et al., 2008; 2010). Building on this approach, we are investigating the use of other calcitic fossils as a proxy for water column phosphorus concentration, focussing on belemnites, an extinct group of nektic molluscs.

We have developed and optimised a method to quantify phosphorus in the belemnite rostrum, and initially applied this method to samples from the upper Sinemurian to the Toarcian in the Lower Jurassic. During this time there were major climatic and environmental events in the latest Pliensbachian and early Toarcian, which are thought to have been driven by large scale volcanism of the Karoo-Ferrar Large Igneous Provinces (LIP). Of particular interest are an icehouse event during the Pliensbachian, and a warming event during the Toarcian which coincided with widespread ocean anoxia (the Toarcian Ocean Anoxic Event [TOAE]) and a second order mass extinction event (the Early Toarcian Mass Extinction).

We will present P/Ca results from method development tests and collections of belemnites from the Sinemurian to the Toarcian from a number of sites in the European Epicontinental Sea (EES). Pilot data show similar trends in belemnite phosphorus concentrations at different sites in the EES, including a sharp peak during the TOAE. We will also discuss the impact of inter-species variation on belemnite phosphorus concentrations, as well as internal variability in phosphorus concentrations in individual belemnites, to determine the potential impact of these variables on the reconstruction of water column phosphorus concentrations. 

LaVigne, M., Field, M. P., Anagnostou, E., Grottoli, A. G., Wellington, G. M., Sherrell, R. M. (2008). Skeletal P/Ca tracks upwelling in Gulf of Panamá coral: Evidence for a new seawater phosphate proxy. Geophysical Research Letters 35.

LaVigne, M., Matthews, K. A., Grottoli, A. G., Cobb, K. M., Anagnostou, E., Cabioch, G., Sherrell, R. M. (2010). Coral skeleton P/Ca proxy for seawater phosphate: Multi-colony calibration with a contemporaneous seawater phosphate record. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 74: 1282–1293.

How to cite: Roper, A., Ullmann, C., Little, C., Poulton, S., Wignall, P., He, T., and Newton, R.: A novel marine phosphorus record from Lower Jurassic belemnites?, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-2799,, 2021.

Matthew Clarkson, Timothy Lenton, Claudine Stirling, Alexander Dickson, and Derek Vance

Oceanic anoxia is a common response to past climate perturbations and often invoked as a direct cause of mass extinctions and faunal turnover events. During the Phanerozoic, there are numerous events that show qualitatively similar expressions of de-oxygenation, including ‘black shale’ development and distinct geochemical disturbances on global or local scales. These perturbations can be broadly grouped together as Oceanic Anoxic Events (OAEs), but their similarities, and differences, require greater quantification.

Advances in geochemistry over the last decade mean we are approaching a point where such a quantified comparison is possible. In particular, uranium isotopes (δ238U) have become established as an important tool for estimating the global extent of seafloor anoxia, overcoming the geographic limitations of relying on local proxy records. Typically, records from oxic marine carbonates, that are thought to track seawater trends, show negative U isotope excursions that reflect the preferential removal of isotopically heavy 238U into anoxic sediments. Here we present a compilation of δ238U datasets for a series of past climate perturbations, including the Permo-Triassic mass extinction, mid-Cretaceous OAE 2 and the PETM. In combination with a dynamic biogeochemical model, we explore the use of such datasets as a quantitative framework for comparing the ‘severity’ of OAEs. We highlight the strengths and weaknesses of the U isotope approach and outline important guidelines for considering δ238U records and the temporal relationship to other proxy datasets, such as δ13C and temperature.

How to cite: Clarkson, M., Lenton, T., Stirling, C., Dickson, A., and Vance, D.: Toward a quantitative framework for assessing the global severity of Oceanic Anoxic Events, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-2730,, 2021.

Wenhan Chen, David Bryan Kemp, Tianchen He, and Chunju Huang

The early Toarcian oceanic anoxic event (T-OAE, ~183 Ma) was characterized by a prominent environmental perturbation, likely associated with a large amount of 12C-enriched carbon released into the global ocean-atmosphere system. This effusion caused a marked disruption to the global carbon cycle and propagated a series of remarkable changes in ocean chemistry and climate. Although the T-OAE has been recognized worldwide, clear geographic differences in the character of the event and its environmental effects have been recognized. Here, we present new geochemical data from a lower Toarcian succession on the Isle of Raasay, NE Scotland (Hebrides Basin, Northwest European Shelf). Organic carbon isotope data through the Raasay section reveal a pronounced negative excursion, similar to that recognised globally. The excursion interval is enriched in organic matter, and redox sensitive element data suggest that suboxic bottom water conditions contemporaneously occurred, likely interspersed with anoxic episodes. Our findings contrast with evidence of more pervasive anoxia/euxinia in nearby basins, and emphasize how deoxygenation was spatially variable within the T-OAE. Inorganic geochemical data and sedimentological observations suggest a significant enhancement in chemical weathering and coarse-grained detrital flux during the T-OAE on Raasay. These findings support evidence from other localities for a strengthening of hydrological cycling in response to global warming during the T-OAE.

How to cite: Chen, W., Kemp, D. B., He, T., and Huang, C.: A new record of the Toarcian oceanic anoxic event from Scotland (UK) and environmental responses, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-893,, 2021.

Brahimsamba Bomou, Guillaume Suan, Jan Schlögl, Anne-Sabine Grosjean, Baptiste Suchéras-Marx, Thierry Adatte, Jorge Spangenberg, Stéphane Fouché, Axelle Zacai, Corentin Gibert, Jean-Michel Brazier, Vincent Perrier, Peggy Vincent, Kévin Janneau, and Jeremy E. Martin

Paleontological excavations realized by our group in Toarcian shales (Lower Jurassic) of the Grands Causses Basin in Roqueredonde (Hérault, France), yielded several specimens of marine vertebrates. The newly discovered specimens are partly or entirely preserved in anatomical connection and include a partial ichthyosaur skeleton with soft tissues, and a 4 m-long thalattosuchian longirostrine marine crocodile. A multi-proxy approach has been developed (XRD-bulk and clay mineralogy, Rock-Eval pyrolysis, phosphorus and mercury contents) in order to replace these findings in a well-defined temporal and paleoenvironmental context, and hence constrain the factors that led to their remarkable preservation. The fossiliferous succession exposes a 3 m-thick upper Pliensbachian interval of marl and nodular carbonate beds, overlain by a 3 m-thick interval of lower Toarcian laminated shales and limestone beds. Our high-resolution ammonite biostratigraphy, combined with inorganic and organic carbon isotope chemostratigraphy, shows that the fossiliferous Toarcian strata were deposited at a time of global warming and major carbon cycle perturbation known as the Toarcian Oceanic Anoxic Event (T-OAE). The studied succession shows several similarities with the classical coeval fossiliferous levels of the Posidonia Shale in SW Germany, including high organic matter and hydrocarbon contents as well as extremely reduced sedimentation rates. These results indicate that the unusual richness in well-preserved vertebrates of the studied site can be explained by a combination of warming-induced, low salinity and stratified waters, prolonged seafloor anoxia and reduced dilution by low carbonate and terrigenous input due to rapid sea-level rise. Our results also reveal a significant peak in mercury at the base of the T-OAE interval, consistent with that recorded in several coeval sections (e.g. Portugal, Morocco, Argentina, Chile). This mercury anomaly, most likely resulting from intense volcanic activity Karoo-Ferrar large igneous province, suggests that widespread exceptional vertebrate preservation during the T-OAE was initiated by a suite of severe environmental perturbations ultimately triggered by intense volcanic emissions.

How to cite: Bomou, B., Suan, G., Schlögl, J., Grosjean, A.-S., Suchéras-Marx, B., Adatte, T., Spangenberg, J., Fouché, S., Zacai, A., Gibert, C., Brazier, J.-M., Perrier, V., Vincent, P., Janneau, K., and Martin, J. E.: Record of the Toarcian oceanic anoxic event in the Grands Causses Basin (southern France) and its implications for vertebrate preservation, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-11835,, 2021.

Krzysztof Bąk, Górny Zbigniew, and Marta Bąk

The Albian–Cenomanian transition is stratigraphically still poorly constrained in deep-water environments below the CCD. For this reason, the recognition of the OAE1d in such sedimentary records is extremely rare. Our high-resolution carbon-isotope (δ13Corg) stratigraphy of the Upper Albian and Lower Cenomanian turbidite/hemipelagic succession, accumulated in the marginal Silesian Basin of the Western Tethys, made it possible to identify the interval corresponding to the OAE1d. It has been recognized within two lithostratigraphic units of the Silesian Nappe of the Outer Carpathians (the Lower and Middle Lgota Beds), which are composed mostly of turbidite sediments containing a large amount of bioclastic material occurring in the silty and sandy fraction (locally over 70%). Bioclasts were redeposited from marginal shelf of the European Platform. The hemipelagic non-calcareous claystones which separate the turbidite sequences contain deep-water agglutinated foraminiferal (DWAF) assemblages, and are devoid of calcareous benthic foraminifers.

Using the analysis of the DWAF morphogroups, as well as changes in the benthos abundance and its taxonomic composition in relation to the characteristics (colour and TOC content) of hemipelagic sediments, we indicated changes in the environmental conditions that took place during the OAE1d at the bottom of the Silesian Basin. The most abundant horizons of organic-rich shales are characteristic of the lower part of the OAE1d succession corresponding to the Pialli Level from the Umbria-Marche Basin, although thin intercalations of black shales are also present along the upper part of this succession, where the hemipelagic sediments are dominated by green-coloured shales. The variability of organic matter in the studied sediments only slightly correlates with the abundance of the DWAFs and with their taxonomic composition. The more visible features in the latest Albian agglutinated benthos concern relative proportions of foraminiferal morphogroups which correspond to life-style and feeding strategies, and in this way reflect changes in selected environmental parameters. It seems that fluctuations in the morphogroup distribution along the OAE1d succession reflects the influence of two groups of factors: (i) oxygen concentration in bottom waters (low in the older part of the OAE1d, with fluctuations in the younger part of this isotope event), and (ii) the organic carbon flux that was linked to the onset of a massive redeposition of biogenic material from the European shelf. The last factor is related to the sea level fall during the 3-rd order regressive cycle.

How to cite: Bąk, K., Zbigniew, G., and Bąk, M.: Oceanic Anoxic Event 1d (late Albian) in deep-water sediments of the Outer Carpathians, Poland; Carbon isotope and agglutinated foraminiferal records, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-4149,, 2021.

Fernando Nunez, Azucena Colin-Rodríguez, Thierry Adatte, Lourdes Omaña-Pulido, Pura Alfonso, Teresa Pi, Alexander Correa-Metrio, Ricardo Barragán, Mario Martínez-Yáñez, and Juan Josué Enciso Cárdenas

In the modern ocean, deoxygenation is a major consequence of climate change induced by eutrophication and expansion of oxygen minimum zones.  To better understand the exact mechanisms that promote the development of anoxia requires observations not available at human time scale, and therefore demand the study of intervals of rapid warming in the geologic past. During the Cretaceous Period, massive submarine volcanism during the construction of Large Igneous Provinces gave rise to the development of several episodes of widespread oxygen-depleted waters and enhance organic carbon deposition, including the  Cenomanian-Turonian Oceanic Anoxic Event 2 (OAE 2) and the  Late Turonian–Coniacian Event (LTCE). In this study, we reconstruct climate and oceanographic conditions in the Mexican Interior Basin during these events, a key area that connected the Western Interior Seaway to the equatorial Atlantic Tethyan water mass. To accomplish this, we applied an integrated multi-proxy approach that includes sedimentological, microfacies, mineralogical and geochemical data from a upper Cenomanian–lower Coniacian section.

Organic-rich sediments were accumulated during the initial stage of OAE 2 and the middle stage of LTCE (Hitchwood Event), under increasingly warm and humid conditions, as evidenced by high chemical index of alteration (CIA) values. High detrital index (DI) values coupled with high phosphorus mass-accumulation rates suggest that this scenario increased detrital and nutrients fluxes. Eutrophic-anoxic/dysoxic marine conditions are corroborated by the highest TOC values coinciding with significant enrichments in redox- and productivity-sensitive trace elements. Moreover, they are supported by the abundant presence of radiolarians and filaments in the OAE 2 interval, and the occurrence of opportunistic foraminifera in the LTCE interval. Oxygen-depleted bottom waters are also indicated by Mo–U systematics and a small-sized population of pyrite. The onset of the Mexican Orogen tectonic uplift together with upwelling intensified the transference of nutrients and enhanced organic matter burial during the initial stage of OAE 2. In the mid-OAE 2 δ13C trough interval equivalent to the Plenus Cold Event, bioturbated sediments with low TOC values accumulated during a short episode of cold climate conditions reflecting the southward flow of boreal water throughout the Mexican Interior Basin. The minimum δ34Spy value occurring within the OAE 2 interval in the Mexican Interior Basin is lower than elsewhere due to a local increase in sulfate concentrations.

How to cite: Nunez, F., Colin-Rodríguez, A., Adatte, T., Omaña-Pulido, L., Alfonso, P., Pi, T., Correa-Metrio, A., Barragán, R., Martínez-Yáñez, M., and Enciso Cárdenas, J. J.: The Cenomanian–Turonian Oceanic Anoxic Event 2 and the Late Turonian-Coniacian Event in the Mexican Interior Basin, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-13968,, 2021.

Pia Müller, Ulrich Heimhofer, and Christian Ostertag-Henning

The Oceanic Anoxic Event (OAE) 2 spanning the Cenomanian-Turonian boundary (93.5 Ma)
represents a major perturbation of the global carbon cycle and is marked by organic-rich
sediments deposited under oxygen-depleted conditions. In many studies the eruption of the
Caribbean LIP is considered to be the cause for rapidly increasing CO2 concentrations and
resulting global warming accompanied by widespread oceanic anoxia. In the Lower Saxony
Basin of northern Germany, the deposits of the OAE 2 are exposed in several industry drill
cores. In this study, the lower part of the OAE 2 has been studied in the HOLCIM 2011-3 drill
core. Sedimentary rocks are composed of limestones, marly limestones, marls and black
shales and have been analysed with a high-resolution stable isotope approach
(approximately one sample every 2 cm) combined with geochemical modelling. Using stable
carbon isotopes, bulk rock parameters and petrographic analysis, the onset of OAE 2 has
been investigated in detail. The high-resolution δ13C curve exhibits overall stable values
around 3 ‰ before the onset of the Plenus event. This background level is interrupted by
three short-lived and small but significant negative carbon isotope excursions (CIEs) down to
δ13C values of 2.5 ‰, 2.7 ‰ and 1.9 ‰. Immediately before the main rise in the Plenus bed,
a longer-lasting negative CIE down to 2.8 ‰ is observed, preceding the large positive CIE of
the OAE 2 to values of 5.2 ‰ over 33 ka. Thereafter, the δ13C values decrease to 3.5 ‰ over
a period of approximately 130 ka. The results can be correlated with the lower-resolution
data set of Voigt et al. (2008) but enable a more accurate characterization of the subtle
features of the CIE and hence events before and during this time interval. Carbon cycle
modelling with the modelling software SIMILE using a model based on Kump & Arthur (1999)
reveals that the negative excursion before the Plenus bed can be explained by a massive
volcanic pulse releasing of 0.95*1018 mol CO2 within 14 ka. This amount corresponds to only
81 % of the calculated volume of CO2 release during emplacement of the Caribbean LIP by
Joo et al. (2020). In the model the volcanic exhalation increases atmospheric CO2
concentrations. This will increase global temperatures, intensify the hydrological cycle and
thus increase nutrient input into the ocean, resulting in an expansion of the oxygen minimum
zone, the development of anoxic conditions and an increase in the preservation potential for
organic material. In the model enhanced primary productivity and organic matter preservation
can be controlled by the implemented riverine phosphate input and the preservation factor for
organic matter. For the positive anomaly, the riverine phosphate input must be nearly
doubled (from 0.01 μmol/kg PO4 to 0.019 μmol/kg) for the period of the increasing δ13C
values (app. 33 ka), with a concomitant rise of the preservation factor from 1 % to 2 %. This
model scenario accurately reproduces the major features of the new high-resolution δ13C
record over the onset of the OAE 2 CIE.

How to cite: Müller, P., Heimhofer, U., and Ostertag-Henning, C.: Onset of Oceanic Anoxic Event 2 in the Lower Saxony Basin – Insights fromhigh-resolution stable isotope stratigraphy and geochemical modelling, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-8748,, 2021.

Carolina Fonseca, João Graciano Mendonça Filho, Matías Reolid, Luís Vítor Duarte, and Carine Lézin

The Cenomanian—Turonian boundary is marked by one of the warmest periods of the Mesozoic, associated with high pCO2 levels and global sea-level highstands. Coupled to these extreme conditions is a massive magmatic episode, the establishment of worldwide marine anoxia, the deposition of organic-rich facies, and perturbations of the global carbon cycle, the so-called Oceanic Anoxic Event 2 (OAE2). In order to define the organic facies variability, this stratigraphic interval was analysed in the Baños de la Hedionda, a reference section positioned in the W part of the Internal Subbetic, representing the sedimentary record of a pelagic plateau located in the most distal part of the South Iberian Paleomargin. Regarding this goal, a high resolution study was developed on the Capas Blancas Formation (Capas Blancas, Black radiolaritic shales, and Boquerón members – Mb.), using organic petrographic and geochemical techniques. Carbon isotopic profile, for the isolated kerogen (δ13Ckerogen), displays a positive excursion of ~2.5‰ observed in the Black radiolaritic shales Mb., which is in accordance with the worldwide recognized trend for the OAE2 isotopic record.

The pre-OAE2 is represented by the Capas Blancas Mb., with the majority of the samples of this unit showing no organic matter (OM) recovery (0.01—0.57 wt.% total organic carbon; TOC). Palynofacies analysis displayed an association co-dominated by the Amorphous and Palynomorph groups. The Amorphous Group is characterized mostly by marine phytoplankton-derived amorphous OM (AOM), while the Palynomorph Group is co-dominated by freshwater microplankton (Zygnemataceae and Closterium) and choanoflagellates, with some specimens of marine microplankton, sporomorphs, and zoomorphs being also identified. The mixture of freshwater and marine components suggest deposition in a platform environment with shallow depths and oscillating oxygen regimen (oxic to dysoxic conditions). The freshwater components are most likely transported into the marine system due to the lower amorphization state, with the source area being in high proximity.

The OAE2, represented by the Black radiolaritic shales Mb., is characterized by a dominance of: (i) marine phytoplankton-derived AOM; (ii) plate-like bacterial AOM; and, (iii) sheet-like bacterial AOM with a cratered aspect (0.36—31.48 wt.% TOC). Choanoflagelates (with high degree of amorphization) at the base of the unit, zooclasts, sporomorphs, and solid bitumen are also present. The change in the organic facies suggests the occurrence of a transgressive phase. This organic facies is indicative of a relative sea level rise, with O2 conditions deteriorating with the emplacement of reducing conditions, possibly related to an increase in primary productivity.

The post-OAE2, recognized in the Boquerón Mb., is characterized by a co-dominance of marine phytoplankton-derived AOM and palynomorphs, namely zoomorphs, and high percentages of opaque phytoclasts (below 0.25 wt.% TOC). Nevertheless, kerogen displays a reworked character and, therefore, data should be used with caution.

Furthermore, this study constitutes the first record of Closterium in sediments from the Cretaceous, and the first identification of choanoflagellates, the closest living relatives of Metazoa, in the fossil record.

How to cite: Fonseca, C., Mendonça Filho, J. G., Reolid, M., Duarte, L. V., and Lézin, C.: The Oceanic Anoxic Event 2 organic record in the South Iberian Paleomargin., EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-11868,, 2021.

Chairpersons: Alicia Fantasia, Nicolas Thibault, Thierry Adatte
Joep van Dijk, Julio Sepúlveda, Laia Alegret, Heather Birch, Timothy Bralower, Heather Jones, Michael Henehan, Pincelli Hull, Mohamed Hedi Negra, Andy Ridgwell, Ursula Röhl, Johan Vellekoop, Thomas Westerhold, Jessica Whiteside, and Richard Zeebe

The study of Earth’s Big Five mass extinctions provides insight into the resilience of ecosystems to environmental perturbations. Earth’s most recent mass extinction at the Cretaceous/Paleogene boundary (K/Pg) was caused by the impact of an asteroid in the Yucatan peninsula rather than by intense volcanism. Mass extinctions among marine calcareous nannoplankton heavily disrupted the marine food web resulting in a severe weakening of the ocean’s biological pump. The timing and heterogeneous nature of the recovery of the biological pump remain poorly resolved in the neritic zone in the aftermath of the impact. Here, we address the evolution of the biological pump across the K/Pg at the Global Boundary Stratotype Section (GSSP) at El Kef, Tunisia using high-resolution compound-specific carbon isotope records (δ13Cbiomarker) of non-calcareous marine phototrophs from an outer shelf to upper bathyal setting of the southwestern Tethys Ocean. We use δ13Cbiomarker to reconstruct εp, which is a function of the community structure of marine phototrophs, their rate of carbon fixation, and the concentration and isotopic composition of aqueous CO2. We then use our εp record to constrain the recovery of the biological pump in this region while considering the composition of marine phytoplankton, the assemblage and isotopic composition of benthic foraminifera, state-of-the-art physiological models for εp, and carbon cycle simulations using cGENIE. Our results indicate that the recovery of the biological pump in the outer shelf-upper bathyal zone likely outpaced the recovery in the open ocean. This is in agreement with the selective extinctions among phytoplankton at the K/Pg, with most survivors that would later repopulate open-ocean sites being adapted to neritic environments.

How to cite: van Dijk, J., Sepúlveda, J., Alegret, L., Birch, H., Bralower, T., Jones, H., Henehan, M., Hull, P., Hedi Negra, M., Ridgwell, A., Röhl, U., Vellekoop, J., Westerhold, T., Whiteside, J., and Zeebe, R.: The recovery of the biological pump across the K/Pg boundary in the GSSP of El Kef, Tunisia, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-8200,, 2021.

Thierry Adatte, Gerta Keller, Jorge E. Spangenberg, Paula Mateo, Jahnavi Punekar, Johannes Monkenbusch, Nicolas Thibault, Sigal Abramovich, Blair Schoene, Michael P. Eddy, Kyle Samperton, and Syed F.R. Khadri

The Chicxulub impact in Mexico and Deccan volcanism in India are both linked to the end-Cretaceous mass extinction but the relative timing of the impact, volcanic eruptions, and environmental changes remain controversial, precluding a full assessment of their respective roles. Mercury anomalies within the stratigraphic record have recently been proposed as atmospheric fallout of continental large igneous provinces (LIPs), and these anomalies are associated with all five major mass extinctions in Earth’s history. If this proxy is robust, it could provide a record of volcanism directly correlated to mass extinctions and in the case of the End-extinction, the Chicxulub impact. To test this hypothesis, we analyzed mercury in the late Maastrichtian from the base of C29r to the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary (KPB) n the astronomically tuned Elles section in Tunisia, and correlate this chemostratigraphic record with recent high-precision U-Pb geochronology of Deccan volcanism. Our results support that Hg is a robust indicator of LIP volcanism, and directly links Deccan volcanism to rapid global climate changes, ocean acidification and increasing environmental stress during the last 320-340 kyr of the Maastrichtian. Furthermore, our time-resolved Hg record and U-Pb resolved eruption volumes reveal paroxysmal volcanic eruptions (~30% by volume) during the final 35 kyr leading up to the KPB mass extinction.

How to cite: Adatte, T., Keller, G., Spangenberg, J. E., Mateo, P., Punekar, J., Monkenbusch, J., Thibault, N., Abramovich, S., Schoene, B., Eddy, M. P., Samperton, K., and Khadri, S. F. R.: Paroxysmal Deccan Eruptions linked to End-Cretaceous Mass Extinction, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-10700,, 2021.

Steffanie Sillitoe-Kukas, Munir Humayun, Thierry Adatte, and Gerta Keller

The cause of the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction remains debated between an asteroid impact and volcanism. Precise geochronology showed that the extinction coincided with a voluminous phase (Poladpur eruption) of Deccan volcanism (Schoene et al., 2019). Paleontological evidence indicates that microfossil diversity declined about 300,000 years before the K-Pg boundary, synchronous with the onset of Deccan volcanism (Keller et al. 2009). High concentrations of Ir in the K-Pg boundary supported the asteroid hypothesis but recent work indicates that siderophile accumulation at the K-Pg in El Kef is secondary (Humayun et al., this conf.). Here, we critically examine existing element data for the K-Pg boundary and examine new results at the El Kef site, Tunisia, for volcanogenic volatile element accumulation associated with the contemporaneous Deccan eruptions. In this study, we analyzed 60 elements by laser ablation ICP-MS in search of these volcanic aerosol enrichments in the K-Pg sediments at El Kef, Tunisia. A study of siderophile element distribution at global K-Pg sites found that the Ru/Ir ratio is sub-chondritic. Mixing of upper continental crust (Ru/Ir> CI) with a chondritic impactor fails to explain this trend. Volcanic aerosol emissions for Ir are well known but there is less data available for Ru. Relative emission rates of Ru were found to be lower than those of Ir for the Kudryavy volcano (Yudovskaya et al., 2008), so a possible explanation of the sub-chondritic Ru/Ir ratio observed in global K-Pg sites involves deposition of volcanic aerosols in sediments. We also modeled the effect of adding volcanic aerosols to sediments approximated compositionally as upper continental crust (UCC) to find that Re, Cd, Os and Ir are the first elements to become enriched in sediments by volcanogenic aerosol deposition. Sediments from El Kef below the K-Pg boundary are enriched in both Re and Cd. On a plot of Cd vs. Re, the K-Pg sediment from El Kef falls on a mixing line between volcanic aerosol (Erta Ale volcano) and UCC. Sediment at 3 cm above the K-Pg boundary has little enrichment of either Cd or Re, interpreted here to indicate that this sediment was deposited in the interlude between the Poladpur and the Ambenali eruption phases of the Deccan. The availability of chemical proxies of volcanogenic aerosol deposition in sediments enables direct correlation between fossil evidence and the contemporaneous intensity of volcanic outgassing, the likely destroyer of life by the Deccan eruptions (Keller et al., 2020).

How to cite: Sillitoe-Kukas, S., Humayun, M., Adatte, T., and Keller, G.: Evidence for contemporaneous Deccan volcanic aerosol deposition preceding the K-Pg boundary at El Kef, Tunisia, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-400,, 2021.

Munir Humayun, Steffanie Sillitoe-Kukas, Thierry Adatte, and Gerta Keller

In a transformative contribution, Alvarez et al. (1980) discovered the iridium anomaly at several K-Pg boundary locations that they attributed to an extraterrestrial impact that triggered the end-Cretaceous extinction. The absence of a suitable mechanism by which to concentrate siderophile elements in the boundary clay drove the argument for an extraterrestrial origin of the iridium. They made the observation that fallout from a fireball would be expected to create a uniform distribution of Ir in the clay layer and puzzled over the scale of lateral variation in Ir observed even then. A detailed global study of the siderophile element (Ru, Rh, Pd, Ir, Pt Au) distribution at the K-Pg boundary found non-chondritic patterns concluding that some post-depositional process(es) must have affected the elemental distribution (Goderis et al., 2015). Such processes would mobilize siderophile elements into the surrounding strata. Here, we applied laser ablation ICP-MS, a microanalytical technique, to investigate the distribution of 60 elements, with an emphasis on the siderophile elements, in a vertical transect at the K-Pg boundary at El Kef, Tunisia, to search for elemental transport in or out of the K-Pg clay layer. The K-Pg boundary at El Kef consists of irregular mixed layers of clay, goethite and gypsum with marls above and below. The siderophile elements are concentrated in the goethite-rich component with a distinctly terrestrial crust pattern, albeit super-enriched, with prominent negative Pt anomalies indicative of deposition from an oxidized solution. The Fe/Se ratio indicates an origin of the goethite by oxidation of sedimentary pyrite. Iron oxyhydroxides are effective substrates for the binding of trace metal oxyanions from solution. The extreme enrichment of siderophile elements reflects long-term concentration of siderophile elements from percolating oxidized groundwaters at El Kef. The sulfuric acid produced by pyrite oxidation was neutralized by calcium carbonate in the marls to form gypsum. Selenium (normally a sulfur analog) is undetectable in the El Kef gypsum endmember (Se/S~0), unlike marine gypsum, supporting a formation by pyrite oxidation. This observation potentially explains the ubiquitous non-chondritic siderophile patterns observed globally and the variable Ir enrichments that puzzled geochemists since Alvarez et al. (1980). In view of this observation, siderophile element enrichment in the K-Pg layer can no longer be taken as unambiguous evidence of an extraterrestrial impact.

How to cite: Humayun, M., Sillitoe-Kukas, S., Adatte, T., and Keller, G.: Pyrite Oxidation Controlled Siderophile Element Accumulation on the K-Pg Boundary at El Kef, Tunisia, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-366,, 2020.

Ali Uygar Karabeyoglu, Valentin Lorenzo, Jorge Spangenberg, Sevinç Özkan-Altıner, Demir Altıner, and Thierry Adatte

The end-Cretaceous mass extinction is a unique event such that it potentially coincides with both the Chicxulub bolide impact and the Deccan volcanism. Among these two drivers, the role of the Deccan volcanism is crucial to decipher if there is a causal relationship between volcanism and environmental stress, and if so, how stressed the environment was during the latest Maastrichtian. To assess the cause-and-effect relationship between Deccan volcanism and climate change and mass extinctions, high-resolution biostratigraphy, quantitative species analysis coupled with geochemical measurements have been performed on complete sections of Mudurnu-Göynük and Haymana basins (Turkey).

Detailed quantitative study on planktonic foraminifera of the Haymana Basin revealed that planktonic foraminiferal community in the latest Maastrichtian is dominated by ecological generalists with small, simple morphologies (e.g., Heterohelix, Globigerinelloides, Guembelitria). Among them low oxygen tolerant Heterohelix globulosa is the most dominant taxa and their abundance changing with the presence of stress marker Guembelitria cretacea. In all sections, the K/Pg boundary itself is characterized by 2-3 mm thick reddish oxidized layer which corresponds to sudden annihilation of large, ornamented ecological specialists (e.g., Globotruncana, Rugoglobigerina, Racemiguembelina). Right after the boundary, there is an acme of calcareous dinoflagellate cysts (Thoracosphaera) and a surge of Guembelitria cretacea indicate ecosystem collapse in post-K/Pg environment.

On the other hand, detailed quantitative analysis shows a systematic reduction in the species richness throughout the Plummerita hantkeninoides Zone corresponding to the final 150 kyr of the Cretaceous. Proliferations of the Guembelitria cretacea through late Maastrichtian is known as an indicator of high terrigenous influx; therefore, enhanced food resources. The high sedimentation rates observed in all the studied sections might be linked to increased greenhouse conditions due to Deccan volcanism leading to enhanced weathering. Overall, our multiproxy approach including quantitative biostratigraphy and geochemical analyses highlights the influence of the Deccan volcanism by releasing high amounts of atmospheric CO2 and SO2, leading to the climatic changes and associated biotic stress, which predisposed faunas to eventual extinction at the K/Pg boundary.

How to cite: Karabeyoglu, A. U., Lorenzo, V., Spangenberg, J., Özkan-Altıner, S., Altıner, D., and Adatte, T.: Planktonic foraminiferal and geochemical record across the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary (K-Pg): evidence from the Neo-Tethys, Turkey, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-2058,, 2021.

Šimon Kdýr, Tiiu Elbra, Miroslav Bubík, Petr Schnabl, and Lilian Švábenická

The composite profile, with 4 studied sections, is located near the Uzgruň village (Czech Republic) next to a small stream. The profile is composed of Late Maastrichtian to Palaeocene flysch sediments and the K-Pg boundary is set in claystones within this turbiditic setting. Ongoing research of local paleoenvironment and stratigraphy is based on paleo- and rock-magnetic methods, micropaleontology and geochemistry to obtain more detailed view of the local situation during the K-Pg extinction event. Based on biostratigraphy, two dinocyst zones (Bubík et al., 2002): Palynodium grallator and Carpatella cornuta (first occurrence in the Danian), two calcareous nannofossil zones in the Upper Maastrichtian, and the agglutinated foraminifer zone Rzehakina fissistomata in the Paleogene were distinguished. Biostratigraphic data support the K-Pg boundary interval. The uppermost Maastrichtian is indicated by nannofossil species Micula prinsii, UC26dTP zone. Basal Paleogene non-calcareous strata contain dinocyst Carpatella cornuta and agglutinated foraminifers of Rzehakina fissistomata zone. The presence of low-latitude nannofossil taxa M. prinsii and Ceratolithoides kamptneri show input of warm waters during the uppermost Maastrichtian. Several rock-magnetic methods, such as acquisition of Isothermal remanent magnetization (IRM), acquisition of Anhysteretic remanent magnetization (ARM), Anisotropy of magnetic susceptibility (AMS), Field dependence of magnetic susceptibility (HD) and Frequency dependence of magnetic susceptibility (FD), were applied to estimate behaviour and origin of magnetic particles. Natural remanent magnetization (NRM) values of samples range from 0.09 to 2.48 mA/m. Volume normalized magnetic susceptibility (MS) show values from 130 up to 1197 SI*10-6. There is no increase observed in MS across stratigraphic boundary due to turbiditic evolution of sediment. Due to character of sediments, we applied alternating field (AF) demagnetization and used principal component analysis (PCA; Kirschvink, 1980) for estimation of characteristic remanent component. Most of the K/Pg sections worldwide have well documented Iridium anomaly. In Uzgruň, the preliminary results show that although the values are not as pronounced, the Ir at K-Pg boundary is still higher than in surrounding sediments. For tracing of Deccan traps effect we plan to apply mercury (Hg)/total organic carbon (TOC) stratigraphy. TOC content of 20 pilot samples is low, but not under detection limit of the instrumentation (mean value 0.92 wt%). One sample reached value 4.41 wt% of TOC. Sulphur contents are reaching 1 wt%, but several samples were under detection limit of the instrumentation. Sulphur concentrations suggest more reduction conditions of burial.

Current research is supported by Czech Science Foundation project no. 19-07516S and is in accordance with research plan no. RVO67985831.

Bubík, M., Adamová, M., Bąk, M., Franců, J., Gedl, P., Mikuláš, R., Švábenická, L., & Uchman, A. (2002). Výsledky výzkumu hranice křída/terciér v magurském flyši u Uzgruně. Geologické výzkumy na Moravě a ve Slezsku, 9, 18–22

L. Kirschvink (1980), The least-squares line and plane and the analysis of palaeomagnetic data, Geophysical Journal International, 62(3), 699–718,

How to cite: Kdýr, Š., Elbra, T., Bubík, M., Schnabl, P., and Švábenická, L.: Multi-proxy study of the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) boundary in deep-sea turbiditic sediments in the Uzgruň section (Outer Flysch Carpathians, Czech Republic), EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-2625,, 2021.

Tiiu Elbra, Šimon Kdýr, Petr Schnabl, Petr Pruner, and Jan Soták

Western Carpathians transitional sequence of Upper Cretaceous (e.g. Gosau Group) and Paleogene (e.g. Myjava-Hričov Group) sediments provide good premise for studying the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary (K-Pg) as well as other end-Cretaceous to Middle Eocene events. In Slovakia, the Late Cretaceous formations of Gosau localities can be found in Brezovské Karpaty Mts, Myjava Upland and Mid Váh Valley. To gain insights to local changes in global cataclysm event, a combined study of planktonic bioevents and magnetic properties across K-Pg was studied in two Western Carpathians drilled sections, Žilina (Mid-Váh Valley region) and Kršteňany (Upper Nitra Depression).

The Žilina-Hradisko drill core (ZA-1) is 75 m long and overturned in position. The micropaleontological research of the ZA-1 drill core provides a stratigraphic data ranging from the Late Maastrichtian to Early Ypressian. The ZA-1 sequence reveals distinct changes in magnetic properties and bioproductivity, particularly at the K-Pg. Although most of the drilled sequence displays paramagnetic behavior and low remanent magnetization (average magnetic susceptibility 142μSI and NRM <1mA/m, respectively), at the K-Pg and during first half of Danian – up to base of P2 biozone, markedly higher magnetic susceptibility (MS) and NRM values were observed. This change could mostly be attributed to increased concentration of magnetic fraction and probably illustrates the paleoenvironmental changes as a result of the K-Pg event. The K-Pg interval is also marked by the presence of increased amount of superparamagnetic particles. A mixture of low and high coercivity minerals were detected throughout the drill core, with S-ratio varying between 0.2-0.9 (at K-Pg 0.6-0.9). An additional study of mercury (Hg) content, in combination with total organic carbon (TOC), of ZA-1 samples, reveals a short time enhanced (Hg/TOC >100ppb/wt%), possibly volcanogenic, Hg input during Late Maastrichtian 40cm below K-Pg and later in the second half of P1 biozone in Danian, but seems to indicate either weak or no correlation with magnetic properties. The Kršteňany section consists of two boreholes, KRS-1 and KRS-3, and comprises Late Cretaceous – Middle Eocene formations. Similarly to ZA-1, most of the KRS-3 displays paramagnetic behavior (MS <300μSI) and low NRM (<2mA/m). However, contrary to ZA-1, the distinct changes in magnetic properties at K-Pg interval were not observed. The Maastrichtian portion of KRS-3 displays elevated, but decreasing towards K-Pg, MS values due to considerable weathering and increased hematite and/or goethite content in red-bed formation in the bottommost part of the core. Paleocene sequence through middle Ypresian shows lowest MS with higher (in pelagic sequences) and lower (in siliciclastic sequences) MS zones, probably following transgressive-regressive cycles.

The research was supported by Czech Science Foundation project no. 19-07516S and by VEGA agency no 2/0013/20, and is in accordance with research plan no. RVO67985831.

How to cite: Elbra, T., Kdýr, Š., Schnabl, P., Pruner, P., and Soták, J.: The rock magnetism and biochronology of boundary events across the Cretaceous-Paleogene transition in Slovakia., EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-5005,, 2021.

Tatyana Shumilova

The Kara astrobleme is one of the biggest meteoritic craters which is set at the Baydarata Bay of the Kara sea (European Arctic Zone, Russia). It is a result of the catastrophic impact event occurred close to the K/Т extinction. The Kara astrobleme is the largest European crater at the modern erosion level.  At present it is estimated with the diameter from rim to rim about 65 km. While, some scientists have proposed its larger initial size – up to 120 km diameter, but no any well presented proof has been provided for the hypothesis. In 2015-2019 we have provided wide geological observations at the Kara crater and the near-set Ust`-Kara area (UKA) impactites. We have found for the first time that the UKA impactites, described in earlier Russian scientists publications as a synchronic independent crater of the same bolide, can be presented with bottom-flow impactites from the Kara crater (Shumilova et al., 2020). The found bottom-flow impactites abundant with belt-like impact melt bodies enriched in coesite and liquation structures similar to the Kara UHPHT vein and vein-like melt bodies with UHPHT impact glasses. Thus, they belong to UHPHT impactites. According to our air-bird view observations and impactites outcrops description at the UKA we support the hypothesis of the larger Kara crater getting 100-120 km in diameter of the initially originated size. Such giant meteorite event should be followed by catastrophic effects at the planet level, such as mass extinction. The present accepted Kara impact event age followed by the most recent measurements by 40Ar-39Ar method is equal to 70.3 ± 2.2 Ma (Trieloff et al., 1998), that is a bit earlier than the Cretaceous/Tertiary boundary (K/Т) mass extinction at 66 Ma. But, previously, Kara age has been proposed by 65.7 Ma as a probable K/T impact (Kolesnikov et al., 1988; Nazarov et al., 1992). According to different data, the Kara event age lies within the range from 60 to 81 Ma (Masaitis & Mashchak, 1982; Nazarov et al., 1989; Kolesniov et al., 1990; Koeberl et al., 1990). It is clear that the accuracy of the age measurements depend on the quality of the studied samples, including their crystallinity, velocity of impact melt cooling and alteration, and from the used type of a method. By the moment, we have found out “in situ” crystallized zircons within the just discovered real UHPHT impact melt glasses (Shumilova et al., 2018, 2020). The UHPHT glasses do not have any alteration, thus, they can be used for accurate age measurements. Taking a future possibility for more accurate age analysis in the nearest future we can propose a correct vision of the possibility of the giant Kara influence to K-T mass extinction or other ecological effects. In any case following to the giant size of the Kara event touched the sedimentary rocks abundant with black shales and carbonates, which should be a result of essential atmospheric changes. The study has been supported by the Russian Science Foundation project #17-17-01080.

How to cite: Shumilova, T.: The Kara astrobleme size, age and potential paleo-ecological effects of the impact event (European Arctic Zone, Russia), EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-8523,, 2021.

Maxime Tremblin, Hassan Khozyem, Jorge E. Spangenberg, Charlotte Fillon, Sylvain Calassou, Arnaud Grauls, Eric Lasseur, Jean-Yves Roig, Olivier Serrano, François Guillocheau, Thierry Adatte, and Sébastien Castelltort

The Paleocene-Eocene thermal maximum (PETM; ~55.6 Ma) is one of the most pronounced and the best known of the transient hyperthermal events of the Paleogene. The PETM is characterized by global warming, a significant perturbation of the carbon cycle, and a large perturbation of the biosphere. This extraordinary event is recorded by sharp negative carbon excursions (NCIE) in both oceanic and terrestrial carbonates. The sequence of events triggering this disturbance and the source of the 13C-depleted carbon for the NCIE remains controversial. External perturbation such as volcanism, associated with the setup of the North Atlantic Igneous Province (NAIP), is suspected to be one of the mechanisms responsible for this abrupt climate upheaval. One proxy for investigating the possible link between the establishment of the NAIP and perturbation associated with the PETM is to study mercury (Hg) concentrations record in marine and continental sedimentary successions.

In this study, we present new high-resolution mercury and stable isotopic records from peripheral basins of the Pyrenean orogen across the PETM. The four studies sections vary from continental to bathyal deposit environment and offer the potential to evaluate how major climatic disturbances are associated with the PETM record through a continental to marine transect.

The data obtained reveal the occurrence of two main NCIEs. Based on biostratigraphy and similarity of shape and amplitude of the isotopic excursions with global records, the largest NCIE is interpreted as the PETM. This sharp excursion is preceded by another one that we interpreted as the Pre-Onset Excursion (POE), founded in some other profiles worldwide. These two NCIEs are systematically associated with important mercury anomalies, whatever the environment considered. Increase in Hg contents shows no correlation with clay or total organic carbon contents, suggesting that the influences of local processes or Hg scavenging by organic matter appear to be insignificant. These results show that multiple pulses of volcanism, probably associated with the emplacement of the NAIP, contributed to the onset and the long duration of the PETM. In addition, our study highlights the possibility to get reliable information about past extreme climate events from sedimentary successions even if deposited within active tectonic domains.

This work is financed and carried out within the framework of the BRGM-TOTAL Source-to-Sink project.

How to cite: Tremblin, M., Khozyem, H., Spangenberg, J. E., Fillon, C., Calassou, S., Grauls, A., Lasseur, E., Roig, J.-Y., Serrano, O., Guillocheau, F., Adatte, T., and Castelltort, S.: Enhanced volcanism associated to the emplacement of the North Atlantic Igneous Province during the PETM evidenced by mercury anomalies in Pyrenean foreland sections, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-12788,, 2021.

Nicolas Thibault, Thierry Adatte, and Jorge E. Spangenberg

Sections of the Fur formation exposed on the islands of Fur and Mors (N. Jutland, Denmark) expose well-preserved diatomites and over 140 interbedded ash layers spanning >1 Myr of the Early Eocene from the top part of the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM; 55.9 Ma). The Fur Formation is a Konzentrat-Lagerstätten with an extremely rich fish fauna as well as numerous exquisitely preserved invertebrates, vertebrates, plant material, and siliceous microfossils. Due to its peculiar bentonite record, the Fur formation also constitutes a reference for the North Sea area, recording phases of active North Atlantic Igneous Province (NAIP) volcanism. Recently, a sea-surface temperature (SST) record was derived from Tex86 values for this formation, showing anomalously cool SSTs immediately after the PETM (~11–23°C, Stokke et al., 2020) while near-freezing bottom-water temperatures (BWTs) have been inferred from clumped isotopes analysis of giant glendonite crystals (Vickers et al., 2020). The section is constrained by three radiometric dates of ash layers but cyclostratigraphic analysis of the section has proved difficult due to the apparent homogeneity of the diatomite and multitude of interbedded ash layers. We performed a high-resolution analysis of the magnetic susceptibility and carbon isotopes on bulk organics (δ13Corg) from across the top PETM to the top of the Silstrup Mb. The magnetic susceptibility depicts all the apparent ash layers as well as additional hidden ash layers with peaks of various heights, and thus constitutes an excellent stratigraphic tool for its potential of correlation to other sections and deep-sea sites of the North Atlantic. Our δ13Corg record is characterized throughout by periodicities of 65 to 90 cm and 3.6 m that match well precession and short-eccentricity cycles. Long-term trends and filtered 100 kyr cycles from our record correlate very well to the recent benthic δ13C Cenozoic compilation, leading to an astronomical calibration of the section which spans ~1300 kyr from 55.88 to 54.6 Ma. Our calibration allows for a precise illustration of the drastic contrast between the post-PETM warm tropical SSTs/BWTs and the surprisingly cool SSTs/BWTs of the North Sea.


Stokke, E.W., et al., 2020, Earth and Planetary Science Letters 544, 116388.

Vickers, M.L., et al., 2020, Nature Communications 11, 4713.

How to cite: Thibault, N., Adatte, T., and Spangenberg, J. E.: Astronomical calibration of a key Early Eocene Boreal section: implications for the climate response to the North Atlantic Igneous Province, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-13017,, 2021.

Simin Jin, David Kemp, David Jolley, Manuel Vieira, and Chunju Huang

The Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM, ~56 Ma) was the most marked climate warming event of the Cenozoic, and a potentially useful deep time analogue for understanding environmental responses to anthropogenic carbon emissions and associated warming. The response of sedimentary systems to the large-scale climate changes of the PETM are, however, still uncertain. Here, we present an extremely thick (~140 m) record of the PETM in cores from a well in the North Sea, offshore UK. In this well, a thick Paleocene-Eocene interval is developed owing to uplift of the East Shetland Platform in the late Paleocene. Carbon isotope data through this well, coupled with detailed sedimentological analysis, show that the PETM interval is contemporaneous with >200 sandstone turbidites layers. Mud deposition without turbidites dominated sedimentation below and above the PETM. These observations support previous work from other localities highlighting how climate warming during the PETM likely drove substantial changes in hydrological cycling, erosion and sediment supply. Spectral analysis of turbidite recurrence in the PETM interval suggests that the abundance of turbidites was modulated in part by ~21 kyr astronomical precession climate cycles, further emphasizing a potential climatic control on turbidite sedimentation. In detail, we note a kiloyear-scale time lag between onset of the PETM carbon isotope excursion and the appearance of turbidites in the succession, highlighting a delay between PETM carbon release and warming and the basin-wide response in sediment supply.

How to cite: Jin, S., Kemp, D., Jolley, D., Vieira, M., and Huang, C.: Large-scale siliciclastic input during the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum in the North Sea Basin, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-3731,, 2021.

Rocio Jaimes-Gutierrez, Thierry Adatte, Emmanuelle Puceat, Jean Braun, and Sebastien Castelltort

The Paleocene and early Eocene were periods yielding multiple hyperthermal events. The most pronounced of them was the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM), which was characterized by an abrupt increase in global temperature (5–8 °C) over a short time (20 ka). A negative carbon isotope excursion marks the onset of the PETM, which resulted in the fast injection of CO2 into the ocean-atmosphere system, triggering global climatic changes. Geochemical, mineralogical, and sedimentological markers record the resulting increase in continental weathering. This is important, as enhanced chemical erosion influences both the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere and ocean acidity, generating a feedback mechanism. Hence, constraining the rates and intensity of weathering response can further clarify the causes for the PETM and Eocene hyperthermals. This study focuses on the well-preserved Pyrenean foreland basin and intends to assess the continental chemical weathering response of the sediment routing system during the PETM. Clay mineralogy is a climate-sensitive proxy, which records changes in continental erosion. Therefore, clay mineral proportions will be analyzed using X-ray diffraction and major element chemistry on clay-rich samples from the entire source-to-sink system (continental to deep marine deposits). Kaolinite and smectite will be separated from the detrital clay fraction and further subjected to δ18O and δD isotopic analysis for paleoclimatic reconstruction. The combined Lu-Hf and Sm-Nd isotope systems in the clay fraction of the sediments will be used to track the evolution of chemical weathering intensity. The outcome of this project will serve to validate numerical models to understand erosion as a function of rapid climatic change. This topic is of keen interest, as the PETM and its sedimentological signal work as a natural analog for anthropogenically-induced climatic change. The project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Grant Agreement No 860383.

How to cite: Jaimes-Gutierrez, R., Adatte, T., Puceat, E., Braun, J., and Castelltort, S.: Chemical weathering response to extreme global warming during Paleocene-Eocene Hyperthermals, Southern Pyrenees, Spain, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-12452,, 2021.

Vlasta Ćosović, Jelena Španiček, Katica Drobne, and Ervin Mrinjek

The Paleogene Adriatic carbonate platform(s) existed within the Central NeoTethys (around 32 N paleolatitude) from the Danian to the late Eocene (Bartonian/Priabonian) and produced a succession of limestones up to 500 m thick, rich in larger benthic foraminifera (LBF). The Eocene sediments are widely distributed along the eastern Adriatic coast and have been studied for many years. Taking into account the climatic changes that took place within the Eocene (Early Eocene and Middle Eocene climatic optima, known as EECO, MECO), special attention was paid to the composition of shallow-marine foraminiferal assemblages. The studies reveal the following trends: (1) the alveolinid-dominated assemblages were replaced by nummulitid-dominated assemblages around the MECO; (2) the greater species and morphological diversity (spherical, ellipsoid, extremely elongated fusiform) of the alveolinid fauna was evident at the EECO; (3) the nummulitid-dominated fauna was characterized by less diversified assemblages compared to the alveolinid ones and by the co-occurrence of scleractinian corals, coralline red algae and aborescent foraminifera. The occurrence of twin embryos has been assigned to the early Eocene in the alveolinid populations, especially in Alveolina levantina and A. axiampla (in some sections, the frequency is greater than 5%), and these coalesced embryos have the same size as the single form (usually they are smaller). The LBF assemblages of Middle Eocene showed a greater frequency of doubled adult tests (Orbitolites sp., Nummulites sp.). The origin of these unusual morphologies is poorly known, usually described as the results of stressful conditions. Considering the timing of the appearance of such morphologies, temperature and associated changes in the shallow-marine environment could be the cause.

This study is carried out as part of the scientific project IP-2019-04-5775 BREEMECO, funded by Croatian Scientific Foundation.

How to cite: Ćosović, V., Španiček, J., Drobne, K., and Mrinjek, E.: The incidence of unusual test morphologies of Eocene Larger benthic foraminifera: An example of Paleogene Adriatic Carbonate Platform, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-10340,, 2021.

Morgan Jones, Ella Stokke, Sverre Planke, Lars Augland, Henrik Svensen, Christian Tegner, Appy Sluijs, Joost Frieling, Tamsin Mather, and Ritske Huismans

The Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) is recognized as one of the potential analogues in the geological record for present-day global warming. The aim of the International Continental Scientific Drilling Program (ICDP) project PVOLC is to test the hypothesis that voluminous magmatism in sedimentary basins in the NE Atlantic triggered the PETM. Two ICDP boreholes are planned to core the boundary in the Limfjorden area in Denmark in 2022. PVOLC will be conducted in conjunction with IODP Exp 396 on the mid-Norwegian continental margin. The North Atlantic Igneous Province (NAIP) was is a large igneous province (5–10 million km3 magma) that coincided with both the opening of the NE Atlantic Ocean and the greenhouse conditions of the early Paleogene. The close temporal correlations suggest a possible causal relationship between the NAIP and both the climatic and tectonic changes around 56– 54 Ma. In particular, the main acme of NAIP activity occurred across the Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM), an extreme hyperthermal event that represents the warmest conditions of the last 60 million years. The NAIP is among several proposed candidates for driving global warming through CO2/CH4 emissions, both by magmatic degassing and through contact metamorphism around shallow intrusions in organic rich sedimentary basins. What is needed to refine the role of the NAIP during the PETM are key sedimentary sequences that contain abundant volcanic and climatic proxies in the same section, thereby allowing a precise geochronology of events to be attained. The sediments exposed on the Fur island, Denmark, are a key sequence of PETM and post-PETM strata with little thermal overprint and hundreds of well-preserved volcanic ash layers from the NAIP. The effects of Quaternary glaciotectonism have disturbed this key stratigraphic interval at Fur, but seismic surveys indicate that undisturbed strata are found a few km to the south. The ICDP PVOLC project plan is to drill both the Paleocene-Eocene and the Cretaceous-Paleocene boundaries, hopefully recovering pristine cores suitable for high-resolution geochemical and climatic studies.

How to cite: Jones, M., Stokke, E., Planke, S., Augland, L., Svensen, H., Tegner, C., Sluijs, A., Frieling, J., Mather, T., and Huismans, R.: Coring of the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) in Denmark: ICDP Project PVOLC, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-15570,, 2021.

Sverre Planke, Ritske Huismans, Christian Berndt, Laurent Gernigon, Stefan Buenz, Jan Inge Faleide, Morgan T. Jones, Henrik H. Svensen, Dougal A. Jerram, John M. Millett, and Reidun Myklebust

Continental breakup between Greenland and NW Europe in the Paleogene was associated with transient massive magmatism and a global hot-house named the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM). The International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) Expedition 396 will study the cause of this magmatism and its climate implication by drilling up to nine boreholes across the Vøring and Møre continental margins in August-September 2021. The expeditions will be conducted in conjunction with ICDP project PVOLC which plan to drill the Paleogene sequences in a more distal setting in Denmark in 2022. The NE Atlantic conjugate volcanic rifted margins are characterized by extensive break-up magmatism recorded by basalt flows, volcanogenic sediments, magmatic underplates, and intrusive complexes in sedimentary basins and the crust. Massive injection of magma into organic-rich sedimentary basins is a likely mechanism for triggering short-term global warming during the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM). A key objective of this expedition is to document the nature and explain the causes and consequences of excess magmatism during breakup as the large amount of magmatism cannot be easily be explained by passive decompressional melting of sub-lithospheric mantle with a normal potential temperature. New constraints on 1) melting conditions, 2) timing of magmatism, 3) spatial and temporal variations, 4) eruption environment, 5) sedimentary proxy data, and 6) temporal resolution of magmatism and climate change events are required to resolve current controversies. Systematic IODP drilling is a way to provide these constraints and will allow the development of a quantitatively testable framework for volcanic rifted margin formation and consequences for global climate change. New 3D seismic data collected by the industry and academia during the past few years have provided unique imaging of the basalt and sub-basalt sequences and allowed for optimal planning of the drill sites for scientific purposes. Additional holes are located along and outboard of the continent-ocean boundary to constrain the temporal evolution of the breakup magmatism. Two of the scientific drilling aims of this cruise are to core Paleogene sequences across the PETM and to drill one of the thousands of hydrothermal vent complexes to attain a proximal record of NAIP activity. This will give vital information on the proximal environmental disturbances during the NAIP emplacement.

How to cite: Planke, S., Huismans, R., Berndt, C., Gernigon, L., Buenz, S., Faleide, J. I., Jones, M. T., Svensen, H. H., Jerram, D. A., Millett, J. M., and Myklebust, R.: Mid-Norwegian continental margin magmatism and Paleogene global climate change: An overview of the upcoming International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) Expedition 396, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-15114,, 2021.