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Temporal calibration of eruption dynamics of Large Igneous Provinces and correlation to global environmental disturbance with high-precision U-Pb dating of micro-zircon and -baddeleyite

English title Temporal calibration of eruption dynamics of Large Igneous Provinces and correlation to global environmental disturbance with high-precision U-Pb dating of micro-zircon and -baddeleyite
Applicant Schaltegger Urs
Number 162341
Funding scheme Project funding (Div. I-III)
Research institution Département des sciences de la Terre Université de Genève
Institution of higher education University of Geneva - GE
Main discipline Geochronology
Start/End 01.01.2016 - 31.12.2018
Approved amount 379'303.00
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Keywords (11)

Columbia River basalts; Karoo ignous province; eruption dynamics; micro-baddeleyite; micro-zircon; U-Pb dating; Large Igneous Province; Central Atlantic Magmatic Province; basalt; geochronology; environmental perturbation

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
Sind grossräumige vulkanische Provinzen, die während einigen 100'000 aktiv waren (sogenannte "Large Igneous Provinces") wirklich für die wichtigen Massensterben in der geologischen Geschichte verantwortlich? Können wir mit ultrapräzisen Datierungen einen zeitlichen Zusammenhang reonstruieren? AN welche Prozesse im Erdmantel sind diese Vulkanoprovinzen gebunden?
Lay summary

Vulkanausbrüche in sogenannten "Grossen Vulkanprovinzen" haben zu verschiedenen Zeiten in der geologischen Geschichte zu globalen Störungen des Klimas und der Entwicjklung des Lebens geführt. Im Extremfalle wurde das Leben um 80 bis 90% reduziert, als "Massensterben" benannt, wie zum Beispiel an der Perm/Trias Grenze (vor 252 Millionen Jahren), oder an der Trias/Jura Grenze (vor 201 Millionen Jahren). Die zeitliche Koinzidenz zwischen vulkanischer Aktivität und der klimatischen und biotischen Reaktion auf der Erde kann nur mit genauer Geochronologie, das heisst mit Altersbestimmungen, hergestellt werden.

Dieses Projekt soll hochpräzise U-Pb Altersbestimmungen an kleinsten Körnern der Mineralien Zirkon und Baddeleyit entwickeln, um basaltische Gesteine dieser Vulkanprovinzen direkt datieren zu können. Dies wurde nun aufgrund analytischer Entwicklungen im geochronologischen Labor der Universität Genf möglich. Mit Hilfe dieser Altersbestimmungen, inklusive der Analyse von Spurenelementen und der Isotopenzusammensetzung des Elements Hafnium, kann die petrologische Entwicklung eines solchen vulkanischen Zentrums im Laufe seiner Aktivität rekonstruiert werden. Die Karoo Provinz ist beispielsweise während etwa 10 Millionen Jahren aktiv, die mittel-atlantische Provinz nur während 500'000 Jahren. Unterscheiden sich die Schmelzen in ihrer Herkunft zwischen den beiden Provinzen, ist die Tiefe der Aufschmelzung im Mantel verschieden oder der Aufschmelzungsgrad, verändern sie sich während der Aktivität? Während einer Studie in den Columbia River Basalten (USA) versucht das Projekt die Frage zu beantworten: Werden die klima-aktiven Gase während des initialen Stadiums oder während des Peaks der vulkanischen Aktivität in die Athmosphäre injiziert?

Die geplanten Forschungsarbeiten werden zu ganz neuen Erkenntnissen sowohl auf dem Gebiete der globalen klimatischen Veränderungen in der Erdgeschichte, als auch in der Kenntnis der Struktur des Erdmantels führen.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 01.10.2015

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
Zircon petrochronology in large igneous provinces reveals upper crustal contamination processes: new U–Pb ages, Hf and O isotopes, and trace elements from the Central Atlantic magmatic province (CAMP)
Davies J. H. F. L., Marzoli A., Bertrand H., Youbi N., Ernesto M., Greber N. D., Ackerson M., Simpson G., Bouvier A.-S., Baumgartner L., Pettke T., Farina F., Ahrenstedt H. V., Schaltegger U. (2021), Zircon petrochronology in large igneous provinces reveals upper crustal contamination processes: new U–Pb ages, Hf and O isotopes, and trace elements from the Central Atlantic magmatic province (CAMP), in Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, 176(1), 9-9.
Zircon petrochronology reveals the timescale and mechanism of anatectic magma formation
Farina Federico, Dini Andrea, Davies Joshua H.F.L., Ovtcharova Maria, Greber Nicolas D., Bouvier Anne-Sophie, Baumgartner Lukas, Ulianov Alexey, Schaltegger Urs (2018), Zircon petrochronology reveals the timescale and mechanism of anatectic magma formation, in Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 495, 213-223.
Rapid emergence of subaerial landmasses and onset of a modern hydrologic cycle 2.5 billion years ago
Bindeman I. N., Zakharov D. O., Palandri J., Greber N. D., Dauphas N., Retallack G. J., Hofmann A., Lackey J. S., Bekker A. (2018), Rapid emergence of subaerial landmasses and onset of a modern hydrologic cycle 2.5 billion years ago, in Nature, 557(7706), 545-548.
Evaluating baddeleyite oxygen isotope analysis by secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS)
Davies J.H.F.L., Stern R.A., Heaman L.M., Moser D.E., Walton E.L., Vennemann T. (2018), Evaluating baddeleyite oxygen isotope analysis by secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS), in Chemical Geology, 479, 113-122.
Geochemical Constraints Provided by the Freetown Layered Complex (Sierra Leone) on the Origin of High-Ti Tholeiitic CAMP Magmas
Callegaro Sara, Marzoli Andrea, Bertrand Hervé, Blichert-Toft Janne, Reisberg Laurie, Cavazzini Giancarlo, Jourdan Fred, Davies Joshua, Parisio Laura, Bouchet Romain, Paul André, Schaltegger Urs, Chiaradia Massimo (2017), Geochemical Constraints Provided by the Freetown Layered Complex (Sierra Leone) on the Origin of High-Ti Tholeiitic CAMP Magmas, in Journal of Petrology, 58(9), 1811-1840.
Titanium isotopic evidence for felsic crust and plate tectonics 3.5 billion years ago
Greber Nicolas D., Dauphas Nicolas, Bekker Andrey, Ptáček Matouš P., Bindeman Ilya N., Hofmann Axel (2017), Titanium isotopic evidence for felsic crust and plate tectonics 3.5 billion years ago, in Science, 357(6357), 1271-1274.
Dating the Paleoproterozoic snowball Earth glaciations using contemporaneous subglacial hydrothermal systems
Zakharov D.O., Bindeman I.N., Slabunov A.I., Ovtcharova M., Coble M.A., Serebryakov N.S., Schaltegger U. (2017), Dating the Paleoproterozoic snowball Earth glaciations using contemporaneous subglacial hydrothermal systems, in Geology, 45(7), 667-670.
End-Triassic mass extinction started by intrusive CAMP activity
Davies J.H.F.L., Marzoli A., Bertrand H., Youbi N., Ernesto M., Schaltegger U. (2017), End-Triassic mass extinction started by intrusive CAMP activity, in Nature Communications, 8, 15596.
Proterozoic to Mesozoic evolution of North-West Africa and Peri-Gondwana microplates: Detrital zircon ages from Morocco and Canada
Marzoli A., Davies J.H.F.L., Youbi N., Merle R., Dal Corso J., Dunkley D.J., Fioretti A.M., Bellieni G., Medina F., Wotzlaw J.F., McHone G., Font E., Bensalah M.K. (2017), Proterozoic to Mesozoic evolution of North-West Africa and Peri-Gondwana microplates: Detrital zircon ages from Morocco and Canada, in Lithos, 278-281, 229-239.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
ENS Lyon France (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
University of Oregon United States of America (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Università di Padova Italy (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
University of Lausanne Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
Utrecht University Netherlands (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
Goldschmidt Conference Poster Extended zircon crystallization histories in residual melts of mafic magmatic systems 12.08.2018 Boston, United States of America Schaltegger Urs; Greber Nicolas; Davies Joshua;
EGU 2018 Talk given at a conference Enriched lithosphere overprinting on the geochemistry of the CAMP-related Freetown Layered Complex (Sierra Leone). 08.04.2018 Vienna, Austria Davies Joshua; Schaltegger Urs;
EGU 2018 Talk given at a conference Zircon Hf-O isotopes and U-Pb ages from the Central Atlantic Magmatic province (CAMP) help constrain its mantle sources and relationship to the end Triassic mass extinction. 08.04.2018 Vienna, Austria Davies Joshua; Schaltegger Urs;
AGU 2017 Talk given at a conference The high-Ti CAMP Freetown Layered Complex (Sierra Leone): Lithospheric imprinting revealed by isotope systematics. 11.12.2017 New Orleans, United States of America Schaltegger Urs; Davies Joshua;
Goldschmidt Conference Individual talk Birth, assembly and decay of a continental arc magmatic system 13.08.2017 Paris, France Schaltegger Urs;
Conference on Accessory Minerals Individual talk High-precision U-Pb dating of actinide-rich accessory minerals: Using petrochronology to unravel the timing of complex magmatic and metamorphic processes 13.07.2017 Vienna / Bratislava, Austria Schaltegger Urs;
Goldschmidt Conference Talk given at a conference Structural and chemical characterization of baddeleyite with implications for U-Pb geochronology 13.07.2017 Paris, France Schaltegger Urs; Davies Joshua;
EGU 2017 Talk given at a conference The intrusive record of the CAMP and what it means for the end-Triassic mass extinction 23.04.2017 Vienna, Austria Davies Joshua; Schaltegger Urs;


Awards

Title Year
Eccellenza Professor Award by SNSF 2018
Niggli Medal (Niggli Foundation, Zürich) 2018

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
182007 Temporal coupling of environmental change, volcanism and evolution in the geological past through high-precision geochronology 01.01.2019 Project funding (Div. I-III)
177026 Re-equiping the noble gas laboratory to perform state of the art science, University of Geneva 01.03.2018 R'EQUIP
146994 Temporal calibration of eruption dynamics of Large Igneous Provinces and correlation with global environmental disturbance and biotic response by high-precision U-Pb dating of micro-baddeleyite 01.01.2014 Project funding (Div. I-III)
156424 Establishing globally valid tie points for intercalibration of biochronologic and radioisotopic timescales between the latest Permian and middle Jurassic using high-precision U-Pb dating of volcanic ash beds 01.12.2014 Project funding (Div. I-III)
163984 A new termal ionization mass spectrometer for high-precision U-Pb geochronology 01.12.2015 R'EQUIP

Abstract

Dramatic environmental perturbation, climate overturn and mass extinctions in the geological past are considered to be caused by massive volcanic activity in Large Igneous Provinces (LIPS). We have previously demonstrated that in selected cases, catastrophic biotic change and dynamics and tempo of biotic post-extinction recovery can be dated at ± 100 ka uncertainty of the 206Pb/238U zircon date, e.g., in the Mesozoic. It is of primordial importance that the volcanic activity of LIPS associated with these biotic crises is dated at identical levels of precision and accuracy, in order to infer a causal relationship. In the frame of precursor project 200021_146994 we demonstrated that baddeleyite and zircon are astonishingly ubiquitous in coarse-grained basalt, if the sampling strategy is adapted to this purpose. In this present project proposal we intend to apply the newly developed high-precision U-Pb dating of micro-zircon (ZrSiO4) and micro-baddeleyite (ZrO2) to volcanic rocks from three Large Igneous Provinces (LIPS): (1) Establish a high-resolution correlation of the Central Atlantic Magmatic Province (CAMP) volcanism between Morocco and Bay of Fundy (Canada), and comparison with existing high-precision data for the end-Triassic mass extinction, and with cyclostratigraphic and magnetostratgraphic timescales; (2) High-precision dating of the duration of the Columbia River Basalt (CRB) province, using this province as a show case for estimating magma flux and temporal evolution of magma sources over time, and intercalibration with the paleomagnetic timescale; (3) Temporal calibration of the long-lived Karoo province in Lesotho/South Africa through dating of sills, dykes and basaltic lavas, and intercalibration with the paleomagnetic time-scale, in order to explain multi-pulsed and oscillating biodiversity changes throughout the Toarcian.The high-precision U-Pb dating of smallest grains of magmatic zircon and baddeleyite will yield age results at a 50 - 100 ka level of precision and accuracy, insured by our unprecedented sensitivity of our analytical techniques. By avoiding the widely used 40Ar/39Ar chronometer, we avoid the necessity to propagate systematic uncertainties associated with decay constants and standard or tracer compositions, respectively, into the final dates due to the comparison of two decay schemes, and therefore can compare dates at the level of analytical precision. In addition, analysis of trace elemental composition and Hf isotopes from the same dated volume of these minerals will allow us to gain information about the evolution of the melts sources over time, to interpret accurately the U-Pb data and especially trace post-crystallization open-system behavior of baddeleyite. In addition, oxygen isotope analysis through secondary ion mass spectrometry will be developed as a proxy for tracing and quantifying post-crystallization Pb loss in baddeleyite. The trace element and Hf isotopic part of the analytical work is very challenging and needs further development of analytical techniques.In conclusion, the project will provide the following new knowledge:1.Establish absolute durations of volcanic activity at high resolution, reconstruct the eruption dynamics of different LIPS (CAMP, CRB and Karoo) and interpret them in terms of plate tectonics.2.Analytical techniques for dating micro-zircon and -baddeleyite in mafic rocks at better than ±0.1% precision of their 206Pb/238U age, together with trace element, oxygen and hafnium isotopic characteristics.3.Correlate these high-precision dates with magneto- and cyclostratigraphic timescales, as well as with marine environmental and biotic crises recorded in marine sedimentary sequences. These data may discriminate between models of pre-volcanic peak extinction versus maximum environmental stress and extinction during the peak volcanic activity.
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