On the onset of Central Atlantic Magmatic Province (CAMP) volcanism, and environmental and carbon-cycle change at the Triassic–Jurassic transition (Neuquén Basin, Argentina)
Ruhl, M; Hesselbo, S; Al-Suwaidi, A; et al.Jenkyns, HC; Damborenea, SE; Manceñido, M; Storm, M; Mather, T; Riccardi, A
Date: 3 June 2020
The Triassic–Jurassic transition is characterized by the end-Triassic mass extinction approximately synchronous with the onset of emplacement of the Central Atlantic Magmatic Province (CAMP), and associated with a major negative carbon-isotope excursion (CIE) affecting the ocean–atmosphere system. Here, we present new data (total organic ...
The Triassic–Jurassic transition is characterized by the end-Triassic mass extinction approximately synchronous with the onset of emplacement of the Central Atlantic Magmatic Province (CAMP), and associated with a major negative carbon-isotope excursion (CIE) affecting the ocean–atmosphere system. Here, we present new data (total organic carbon, pyrolysis analysis, carbon-isotopes from bulk organic matter, elemental mercury, and other elemental contents) from a southern-hemisphere Triassic–Jurassic boundary succession in the Neuquén Basin, Argentina. The end-Triassic mass extinction there coincides with a relatively small (2–3‰) negative CIE in bulk organic matter, and we present a model that suggests that extreme aridity across the western Pangaean landmass may have resulted in rather limited terrestrial organic-matter flux to the sedimentary realm in eastern Panthalassic marine basins, hypothetically reducing the magnitude of the observed negative CIE in δ13CTOC. Increased deposition of sedimentary Hg (and Hg/TOC and Hg/Zr) in the marine Neuquén Basin began stratigraphically before the negative CIE associated with the end-Triassic mass extinction, and thus before the commencement, in North America and Africa, of CAMP-related basaltic volcanism, but possibly coinciding with the early emplacement of CAMP-associated intrusives (dykes and sills). This relative chronology suggests thermal alteration of intruded country rocks and/or intrusive magmatic degassing of Hg as potential major sources of elevated Hg fluxes to the atmosphere at this time. The Neuquén Basin experienced the development of dysoxic–anoxic marine conditions across the Triassic–Jurassic transition, enabling increased preservation of organic matter. Simple mass-balance calculations show that enhanced carbon burial rates can explain the inferred evolution of the global exogenic carbon cycle across this time-interval.
Camborne School of Mines
College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences
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