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Global oceanic anoxia linked with the Capitanian (Middle Permian) marine mass extinction

Song, Huyue; Algeo, Thomas; Song, Haijun; Tong, Jinnan; Wignall, Paul; Bond, David P.G.; Zheng, Wang; Chen, Xinming; Romaniello, Stephen; Wei, Hengye; Anbar, Ariel


Huyue Song

Thomas Algeo

Haijun Song

Jinnan Tong

Paul Wignall

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David Bond
Palaeoenvironmental Scientist and Schools Liason Officer

Wang Zheng

Xinming Chen

Stephen Romaniello

Hengye Wei

Ariel Anbar


The timing and causation of the Capitanian (late Middle Permian) biocrisis remain controversial. Here, a detailed uranium-isotopic (δ238U) profile was generated for the mid-Capitanian to lower Wuchiapingian of the Penglaitan section (the Guadalupian/Lopingian Permian global stratotype) in South China for the purpose of investigating relationships between the biocrisis and coeval oceanic anoxic events (OAEs). Negative δ238U excursions indicate two distinct OAEs, a mid-Capitanian (OAE-C1) and an end-Capitanian (OAE-C2) event. Mass balance modeling shows that the anoxic sink of uranium (Fanox; i.e., the fraction of the total U burial flux) and anoxic seafloor area (Farea; i.e., the fraction of total seafloor area) increased during each OAE. A dynamic mass balance model yields increases of Fanox from <30% to >60% and Farea from ∼1% to ∼4-7% during each OAE. These two OAEs coincided with two extinction episodes during the Capitanian biocrisis, supporting a causal relationship between oceanic anoxia and mass extinction during the Middle Permian. The most likely driver of middle to late Capitanian global warming and oceanic anoxia was episodic magmatism of the Emeishan Large Igneous Province.


Song, H., Algeo, T., Song, H., Tong, J., Wignall, P., Bond, D. P., …Anbar, A. (2023). Global oceanic anoxia linked with the Capitanian (Middle Permian) marine mass extinction. Earth and planetary science letters, 610, Article 118128.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Mar 12, 2023
Online Publication Date Mar 30, 2023
Publication Date May 15, 2023
Deposit Date Mar 14, 2023
Publicly Available Date Mar 31, 2024
Journal Earth and Planetary Science Letters
Print ISSN 0012-821X
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 610
Article Number 118128
Public URL