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The Frasnian-Famennian Mass Extinction

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There are some six mass extinctions recognised in Phanerozoic time. The one that perhaps remains least understood is the Late Devonian Frasnian-Famennian mass extinction event at 375 Ma. Here new data is reported that integrates a long terrestrial section from East Greenland with a marginal marine record from northern Russia. Significantly the Russian material includes an integrated stable isotope record from both bulk carbonate and terrestrial organic matter. The latter shows the characteristic double negative excursion well known from other mass extinction events. Multiple lines of evidence from the material indicate an initial LIP event that was followed by the circulation of euxinic water masses onto the shelf environment. The terrestrial palaeoclimate record from East Greenland show two episodes of sustained wet climate followed by extreme aridity that parallel the extinction events in the marine realm.

This talk is part of the Department of Earth Sciences Seminars (downtown) series.

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