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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

English title 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
Applicant Schaltegger Urs
Number 137630
Funding scheme Project funding
Research institution Département des sciences de la Terre Université de Genève
Institution of higher education University of Geneva - GE
Main discipline Geochronology
Start/End 01.12.2011 - 30.11.2014
Approved amount 415'260.00
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All Disciplines (2)

Discipline
Geochronology
Palaeontology

Keywords (6)

U-Pb dating; ash beds; Permian; Triassic; mass extinction; time scale calibration

Lay Summary (English)

Lead
What kind of climatic overturns happened at the Permian-Triassic boundary 252 million years ago, leading to the largest mass extinction ever happening on Earth? How did the environment react to these changes, and what where the timescales of biotic and environmental change?
Lay summary

With this project we will establish a series of stratigraphic tie points between the uppermost Permian to the Middle Jurassic, i.e. spanning some 100 million years, that allow intercalibration of biochronological, chemostratigraphic, and astrochronological time-series with radio-isotopic ages at the ±200 ka level and are globally valid. Already presented and published results from the precursor projects led to a major breakthrough in the understanding of major life and environmental crises during this period of time. This project proposal now suggests to continue this multidisciplinary approach to integrate and intercalibrate geological processes with climatic and biotic response in the past, using highly precise and accurate U-Pb age determinations on zircon from volcanic ash beds, partly with new objectives and targets:

(1)  Calibrating the newly established succession of extinctions-recovery cycles affecting the terrestrial and marine biotas during the Late Permian and the Early Triassic, as well as of the accompanying climatic and oceanographic global changes, by high-precision U-Pb geochronology from ash layers and associated volcanics in the Nanpanjiang Basin (Guangxi, south Guizhou, southeastern Yunnan). This basin provides a unique series of ash beds and associated acidic volcanics intercalated within shallow to deep water fossiliferous settings (ammonoids, conodonts, radiolarians).

(2)  Construct a revised and high resolution calibrated time scale for the Paleozoic-Mesozoic boundary (ammonoids, conodonts, radiolarians, carbon isotopes, palynostratigraphy). Solve the present age contradictions in the Wuchiapingian, Changhsingian, Griesbachian and Dienerian stages generated by inappropriate sampling for radio-isotopic dating and by the misleading use of first appearance data (FAD) of index species for the definition of geological stage boundaries.

(3)  Quantifying biodiversification rates before, during and after the Triassic-Jurassic boundary (TJB) mass extinction event: Completing the radioisotopic calibration of a unique section in Utcubamba valley (northern Peru), and extending the dataset downwards into the marine upper Triassic (Norian-Rhetian) and upwards into the Lower Jurassic (Sinemurian), and comparing them to the GSSP candidate New York Canyon in Nevada (USA).

(4)  Quantifying biodiversification rates before, during and after the lower Toarcian global anoxic crisis: Finishing work on a undisturbed and well-exposed section in southern Peru (area of Palca, Tacna), ranging from Sinemurian to Bathonian, and comparing them to sections in Nevada (USA) and northern Chile. Relating the early Toarcian global anoxic event to the eruption of the Karoo flood basalt province in Botswana and Lesotho by high-precision U-Pb zircon dating on zircon and baddeleyite.

(5)  Use these calibrations for quantifying extinction and recovery rates in terms of post-extinction diversity of each extinction-recovery cycle and for searching any commonalities in the timing and fabric of mass extinctions and recoveries (i.e. comparisons of the post-end Permian with the post-end Triassic and post-Pliensbachien recoveries).

(6)  Achieving a general improvement the radio-isotopic calibration of the Triassic and the Jurassic, in order to allow for cross-correlations between biostratigraphic schemes based on ammonoids, conodonts, bivalves or radiolarians, between carbon-isotope and biostratigraphic records, and for comparison of sections on different continents that are based on different biostratigraphic schemes with endemic faunas.

Since our analytical techniques at highest precision and accuracy are now established and consolidated, we want to make a significant contribution to the Mesozoic timescale using our techniques, as well as exploring ways of intercalibration with volcanic provinces by U-Pb. Our contribution will have a major impact for the improved Mesozoic timescale in the next versions of the Geological Time Scale (GTS2016/20), also used as an important tool for petroleum exploration and exploitation.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 22.10.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
Evaluating the temporal link between the Karoo LIP and climatic-biologic events of the Toarcian Stage with high-precision U-Pb geochronology
Sell B., Ovtcharova M., Guex J., Bartolini A., Jourdan F., Spangenberg J.E., Vicente J.-C., Schaltegger U. (2014), Evaluating the temporal link between the Karoo LIP and climatic-biologic events of the Toarcian Stage with high-precision U-Pb geochronology, in Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 408, 48-56.
High-precision dating of the Kalkarindji large igneous province, Australia, and synchrony with the Early-Middle Cambrian (Stage 4-5) extinction
Jourdan F., Hodges K., Sell B., Schaltegger U., Wingate M.T.D., Evins L.Z., Söderlund U., Haines P.W., Phillips D., Blenkinsop T. (2014), High-precision dating of the Kalkarindji large igneous province, Australia, and synchrony with the Early-Middle Cambrian (Stage 4-5) extinction, in Geology, 42(6), 543-546.
Towards accurate numerical calibration of the late triassic: High precision U-Pb geochronology constraints on the duration of the Rhaetian
Wotzlaw J.-F., Guex J., Bartolini A., Gallet Y., Krystyn L., McRoberts C.A., Taylor D., Schoene B., Schaltegger U. (2014), Towards accurate numerical calibration of the late triassic: High precision U-Pb geochronology constraints on the duration of the Rhaetian, in Geology, 42(7), 571-574.
Tracking the evolution of large-volume silicic magma reservoirs from assembly to supereruption
Wotzlaw J.-F., Schaltegger U., Frick D., Dungan M.A., Gerdes A., Günther D. (2013), Tracking the evolution of large-volume silicic magma reservoirs from assembly to supereruption, in Geology, 41(8), 867-870.
Ammonoid multi-extinction crises during the Late Pliensbachian-Torcian and carbon cycle instabilities
Guex jean, Bartolini Annachiara, Spangenberg Jorge, Vicente J.-C., Schaltegger Urs (2012), Ammonoid multi-extinction crises during the Late Pliensbachian-Torcian and carbon cycle instabilities, in Solid Earth Disc., 4, 1205-1228.
Disentangling the Hettangian carbon isotope record: Implications for the aftermath of the end-Triassic mass extinction
Bartolini A, Guex J, Spangenberg JE, Schoene B, Taylor DG, Schaltegger U, Atudorei V (2012), Disentangling the Hettangian carbon isotope record: Implications for the aftermath of the end-Triassic mass extinction, in GEOCHEMISTRY GEOPHYSICS GEOSYSTEMS, 13, 1-11.
Large-scale evolutionary trends of Acrochordiceratidae Arthaber, 1911 (Ammonoidea, Middle Triassic) and Cope's rule
Monnet C, Bucher H, Guex J, Wasmer M (2012), Large-scale evolutionary trends of Acrochordiceratidae Arthaber, 1911 (Ammonoidea, Middle Triassic) and Cope's rule, in PALAEONTOLOGY, 55, 87-107.
The Toarcian in the Subbetic basin (southern Spain): Bio-events (ammonite and calcareous nannofossils) and carbon-isotope stratigraphy
Sandoval J, Bill M, Aguado R, O'Dogherty L, Rivas P, Morard A, Guex J (2012), The Toarcian in the Subbetic basin (southern Spain): Bio-events (ammonite and calcareous nannofossils) and carbon-isotope stratigraphy, in PALAEOGEOGRAPHY PALAEOCLIMATOLOGY PALAEOECOLOGY, 342, 40-63.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
University of Lausanne, Institut de Géologie Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
Curtin University, Perth Australia (Oceania)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Boise State University, Ohio (USA) United States of America (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
NIGL, British Geological Survey, Keyworth Great Britain and Northern Ireland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
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
144974 Acquisition of QEMSCAN Automated High-Resolution Mineral and Petrographic Analysis. 01.12.2012 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
124375 Stratigraphic research on the Mesozoic of the Tethyan and Pacific realms 01.04.2009 Project funding
126500 Precise and accurate dating of periods of biotic crisis and recovery in the Earth's history using zircon U-Pb dating of volcanic ash beds. 01.12.2009 Project funding
121556 Precise and accurate dating of periods of biotic crisis and recovery in the Earth's history using zircon U-Pb dating of volcanic ash beds. 01.10.2008 Project funding
112716 Locomotion control in natural and artificial systems 01.11.2006 SNSF Professorships

Abstract

Time is a fundamental parameter in Earth Sciences, essential for the integration of disparate datasets, unravelling cause and effect relationships, and for the quantification of rates and durations of geological processes. Temporal relationships are often the key to causality arguments in Earth Sciences, for example between environmental and biological change and its causes during mass extinction events. The accuracy and precision of geological tie-points in the 2004 / 2008 Global Time Scales is, however, not better than 1-0.5%. This is in some discrepancy to the required 405 ka resolution needed to identify the eccentricity cycles in the Jurassic and Triassic, which is still far off the rates of ecological disturbance and the dynamics of post-extinction biological recovery in the 10e5 year range. With this proposal we will establish a series of stratigraphic tie points between the uppermost Permian to the Middle Jurassic, i.e. spanning some 100 million years, that are globally valid, and allow intercalibration of biochronological, chemostratigraphic, and astrochronological time-series with radio-isotopic ages at the ±200 ka level. Already presented and published results from the precursor projects led to a major breakthrough in the understanding of major life and environmental crises during this period of time. This project proposal now suggests to continue this multidisciplinary approach to integrate and intercalibrate geological processes with climatic and biotic response in the past, using highly precise and accurate U-Pb age determinations on zircon from volcanic ash beds:(1) Calibrating the newly established succession of extinctions-recovery cycles affecting the terrestrial and marine biotas during the Late Permian and the Early Triassic, as well as of the accompanying climatic and oceanographic global changes, by high-precision U-Pb geochronology from ash layers and associated volcanics in the Nanpanjiang Basin (Guangxi, south Guizhou, southeastern Yunnan, started already in precursor projects. This basin provides a unique series of ash beds and associated acidic volcanics intercalated within shallow to deep water fossiliferous settings (ammonoids, conodonts, radiolarians).(2) Construct a revised and high resolution calibrated time scale for the Paleozoic-Mesozoic boundary (ammonoids, conodonts, radiolarians, carbon isotopes, palynostratigraphy). Solve the present age contradictions in the Wuchiapingian, Changhsingian, Griesbachian and Dienerian stages generated by inappropriate sampling in the field for radio-isotopic ages and by the misleading use of first appearance data (FAD) of index species for the definition of geological stage boundaries.(3) Quantifying biodiversification rates before, during and after the Triassic-Jurassic boundary (TJB) mass extinction event: Completing the radioisotopic calibration of a unique section in Utcubamba valley (northern Peru), and extending the dataset downwards into the marine upper Triassic (Norian-Rhetian) and upwards into the Lower Jurassic (Sinemurian).(4) Quantifying biodiversification rates before, during and after the lower Toarcian global anoxic crisis: Finishing work on a undisturbed and well-exposed section in southern Peru (area of Palca, Tacna), ranging from Sinemurian to Bathonian. Relating the early Toarcian global anoxic event to the eruption of the Karoo flood basalt province in Botswana and Lesotho by high-precision U-Pb zircon dating on zircon and baddeleyite.(5) Use these calibrations for quantifying extinction and recovery rates in terms of post-extinction diversity of each extinction-recovery cycle and for searching any commonalities in the timing and fabric of mass extinctions and recoveries (i.e. comparisons of the post-end Permian with the post-end Triassic and pots-Pliensbachien recoveries).(6) Achieving a general improvement the radio-isotopic calibration of the Triassic and the Jurassic, in order to allow for cross-correlations between biostratigraphic schemes based on ammonoids, conodonts, bivalves or radiolarians, between carbon-isotope and biostratigraphic records, and for comparison of sections on different continents that show large taxonomic differences.Since our analytical techniques at highest precision and accuracy are now established and consolidated, we want to make a significant contribution to the Mesozoic timescale using our techniques, as well as exploring ways of intercalibration with volcanic provinces by U-Pb. Our contribution will have a major impact for the improved Mesozoic timescale in the next versions of the Geological Time Scale (GTS2016/20), also used as an important tool for petroleum exploration and production.
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