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Volcanism, redox conditions, and microbialite growth linked with the end-Permian mass extinction: evidence from the Xiajiacao section (western Hubei Province), South China

Version 2 2024-06-06, 07:13
Version 1 2017-08-24, 19:20
journal contribution
posted on 2024-06-06, 07:13 authored by Y Pei, ZQ Chen, Y Fang, S Kershaw, S Wu, M Luo
A new Permian-Triassic boundary microbialite (PTBM) is described from the Xiajiacao section of western Hubei Province, South China. The new microbialite, 3.16. m thick, comprises a thin layer of stromatolite and a thick thrombolite unit. An irregular contact separates the uppermost Permian skeletal packstone from the post-extinction stromatolite, but it is not yet possible to discriminate whether it was formed by submarine solution in the wake of ocean acidification or subaerial exposure due to regional regression, or a combination of both. The stromatolite shows "cabbage-like" morphology, and the thrombolite is characterized by centimetric clotted texture. Abundant columns of the microproblematica structure Gakhumella, coccoid-like spheroids, bacterial clump-like spheroids, and hollow spheroids are recognized in both stromatolites and thrombolites and may have played an important role in accretion of the microbialites. Pyrite framboid analysis indicates that microbialites may have been affected by lower dysoxic to upper dysoxic conditions in the immediate aftermath of the Permian-Triassic extinction. Stratigraphic abundance of both high-temperature grains (β-quartz and glassy balls) peaked ~. 20. cm below the biotic extinction horizon, implying that either intensive volcanic eruption occurred only just prior to biotic extinction, or volcanism was still intensive during biotic extinction, but volcanic grains were not deposited in the Xiajiacao locality, likely due to the shallow, agitated environment caused by the regional regression. Overall, microbial bloom, indicated by the widespread PTBMs, seems to have been little affected by the contemporaneous volcanism.



Palaeogeography, palaeoclimatology, palaeoecology






Amsterdam, The Netherlands






Part of special issue: The Palaeozoic-Mesozoic Transition in South China: Oceanic Environments and Life from Late Permian to Late Triassic 2

Publication classification

C Journal article, C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2017, Elsevier B.V.