EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Sulphur isotopes in Permian–Triassic evaporites: an 80‐million‐year record of pyrite burial

Jack Salisbury1, Darren Gröcke1, H.D.R. Ashleigh Cheung1, Lee Kump2, Tom McKie3, and Alastair Ruffell4
Jack Salisbury et al.
  • 1Earth Sciences, Durham University, Durham, United Kingdom of Great Britain – England, Scotland, Wales (
  • 2College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, USA
  • 3Shell UK Exploration and Production, Nigg, Aberdeen, UK
  • 4School of Natural and the Built Environment, Queens University Belfast, Belfast, UK

The Permian–Triassic time interval is associated with major perturbations in the biogeochemical cycling of several redox-sensitive elements. In particular, sulphur isotope ratios (δ34S) reveal substantial perturbations in sedimentary sulphates. Despite this, few studies utilise this δ34S variability for long-term high-resolution correlation. Through the sulphur isotope analysis of sedimentary evaporites of the Staithes S-20 borehole (northeast England), we have generated the most stratigraphically complete evaporite sulphur isotope (δ34Sevap) curve from a single stratigraphic section for the late Permian to Late Triassic. The Staithes S-20 record and its comparison with the global δ34Sevap curve demonstrate the utility of sulphur isotope data for stratigraphic correlation and dating, especially evaporite bearing sequences. The δ34Sevap data for the late Permian to Late Triassic were incorporated into a biogeochemical box model to yield estimates for the pyrite burial flux with time. We propose three significant pyrite burial events (i.e. PBEs) throughout the Triassic. Our model outputs predict a major increase in pyrite burial over the Permian/Triassic boundary, possibly driven by Siberian Traps volcanism. After ~10 million years, the pyrite burial flux achieves relative stability until the latest Triassic.  

How to cite: Salisbury, J., Gröcke, D., Cheung, H. D. R. A., Kump, L., McKie, T., and Ruffell, A.: Sulphur isotopes in Permian–Triassic evaporites: an 80‐million‐year record of pyrite burial, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-12950,, 2023.