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An abrupt extinction in the Middle Permian (Capitanian) of the Boreal Realm (Spitsbergen) and its link to anoxia and acidification

Bond, David P. G.; Beauchamp, Benoit; Blomeier, Dierk P. G.; Grasby, Stephen E.; Joachimski, Michael M.; Savov, Ivan; Sun, Yadong; Wignall, Paul B.


Benoit Beauchamp

Dierk P. G. Blomeier

Stephen E. Grasby

Michael M. Joachimski

Ivan Savov

Yadong Sun

Paul B. Wignall


The controversial Capitanian (Middle Permian, 262 Ma) extinction event is only known from equatorial latitudes, and consequently its global extent is poorly resolved. We demonstrate that there were two, severe extinctions amongst brachiopods in northern Boreal latitudes (Spitsbergen) in the Middle to Late Permian, separated by a recovery phase. New age dating of the Spitsbergen strata (belonging to the Kapp Starostin Formation), using strontium isotopes and d13C trends and comparison with better-dated sections in Greenland, suggests that the first crisis occurred in the Capitanian. This age assignment indicates that this Middle Permian extinction is manifested at higher latitudes. Redox proxies (pyrite framboids and trace metals) show that the Boreal crisis coincided with an intensification of oxygen depletion, implicating anoxia in the extinction scenario. The widespread and near-total loss of carbonates across the Boreal Realm also suggests a role for acidification in the crisis. The recovery interval saw the appearance of new brachiopod and bivalve taxa alongside survivors, and an increased mollusk dominance, resulting in an assemblage reminiscent of younger Mesozoic assemblages. The subsequent end-Permian mass extinction terminated this Late Permian radiation.


Bond, D. P. G., Beauchamp, B., Blomeier, D. P. G., Grasby, S. E., Joachimski, M. M., Savov, I., …Wignall, P. B. (2015). An abrupt extinction in the Middle Permian (Capitanian) of the Boreal Realm (Spitsbergen) and its link to anoxia and acidification. Geological Society of America Bulletin, 127(9-10), 1411-1421.

Acceptance Date Mar 4, 2015
Online Publication Date Apr 14, 2015
Publication Date 2015-09
Deposit Date May 12, 2015
Publicly Available Date May 12, 2015
Journal Geological Society of America Bulletin
Print ISSN 0016-7606
Electronic ISSN 1943-2674
Publisher Geological Society of America
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 127
Issue 9-10
Pages 1411-1421
Keywords Mass extinctions
Public URL
Publisher URL
Copyright Statement Gold Open Access: This paper is published under the terms of the CC-BY license.
Additional Information This is a description of an article which has been published in: Geological Society of America Bulletin, 2015 at


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