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Synchronization of the astronomical time scales in the Early Toarcian: A link between anoxia, carbon-cycle perturbation, mass extinction and volcanism

Abstract : The Late Pliensbachian–Early Toarcian is a pivotal time in the Mesozoic era, marked by pronounced carbon-isotope excursions, biotic crises and major climatic and oceanographic changes. Here we present new high-resolution carbon-isotope and magnetic-susceptibility measurements from an expanded hemipelagic Late Pliensbachian–Early Toarcian section from the Middle Atlas Basin (Morocco). Our new astronomical calibration allows the construction of an orbital time scale based on the 100-kyr eccentricity cycle. The Early Toarcian Polymorphum Zone contains 10 to 10.5 repetitions of the 100-kyr eccentricity both in the carbon-isotope and the magnetic-susceptibility data, leading to an average duration of 1.00±0.081.00±0.08 myr. We also show that the Late Pliensbachian–Early Toarcian global carbon-cycle perturbation has an average duration of 0.24±0.020.24±0.02 myr. These durations are comparable to previous astrochronological time scales provided for this time interval in the most complete sections of the Tethyan area, and longer than what has been provided in condensed sections. Anchoring this framework on published radiometric ages and astrochronological time scales, we estimate that the carbon-cycle perturbation of the Late Pliensbachian–Early Toarcian corresponds with the early phase of the Karoo and Chonke Aike large igneous provinces. Likewise, our new age constraints confirm that the Toarcian oceanic anoxic event is synchronous to the main phase of the Ferrar volcanic activity. Thus, these successive and short phases of the volcanic activity may have been at the origin of the successive phases of the mass extinctions observed in marine biotas in the Pliensbachian and Toarcian times.
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Fatima-Zahra Ait-Itto, Mathieu Martinez, Gregory Price, Abdellah Ait Addi. Synchronization of the astronomical time scales in the Early Toarcian: A link between anoxia, carbon-cycle perturbation, mass extinction and volcanism. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Elsevier, 2018, 493, pp.1-11. ⟨10.1016/j.epsl.2018.04.007⟩. ⟨insu-01777678⟩

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