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Volcanism, mass extinction, and carbon isotope fluctuations in the Middle Permian of China

Sun, Y.; Bond, David P G; Lai, X.; Wignall, Paul B.; Sun, Yadong; Bond, David P. G.; Izon, Gareth; Newton, Robert J.; Védrine, Stéphanie; Widdowson, Mike; Ali, Jason R.; Lai, Xulong; Jiang, Haishui; Cope, Helen; Vedrine, Stephanie; Bottrell, Simon H.


Y. Sun

David P G Bond

X. Lai

Paul B. Wignall

Yadong Sun

Gareth Izon

Robert J. Newton

Stéphanie Védrine

Jason R. Ali

Xulong Lai

Haishui Jiang

Helen Cope

Stephanie Vedrine

Simon H. Bottrell


The 260-million-year-old Emeishan volcanic province of southwest China overlies and is interbedded with Middle Permian carbonates that contain a record of the Guadalupian mass extinction. Sections in the region thus provide an opportunity to directly monitor the relative timing of extinction and volcanism within the same locations. These show that the onset of volcanism was marked by both large phreatomagmatic eruptions and extinctions amongst fusulinacean foraminifers and calcareous algae. The temporal coincidence of these two phenomena supports the idea of a cause-and-effect relationship. The crisis predates the onset of a major negative carbon isotope excursion that points to subsequent severe disturbance of the ocean-atmosphere carbon cycle.


Wignall, P. B., Sun, Y., Bond, D. P. G., Izon, G., Newton, R. J., Védrine, S., …Bottrell, S. H. (2009). Volcanism, mass extinction, and carbon isotope fluctuations in the Middle Permian of China. Science, 324(5931), 1179-1182.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Mar 26, 2009
Online Publication Date May 28, 2009
Publication Date May 29, 2009
Deposit Date Nov 13, 2014
Journal Science
Print ISSN 0036-8075
Electronic ISSN 1095-9203
Publisher American Association for the Advancement of Science
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 324
Issue 5931
Pages 1179-1182
Keywords Multidisciplinary
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