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Catastrophic ocean acidification at the Triassic-Jurassic boundary


Hautmann, M; Benton, M J; Tomasových, A (2008). Catastrophic ocean acidification at the Triassic-Jurassic boundary. Neues Jahrbuch für Geologie und Paläontologie, 249(1):119-127.

Abstract

Palaeobotanical and geochemical evidence indicate a sudden rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) across the Triassic-Jurassic boundary, probably reflecting the combined effect of extensive volcanic degassing and thermal dissociation of marine gas hydrates. Using carbon isotopes as a geochemical marker, we found that the onset of the CO2 emissions coincided with an interruption of carbonate sedimentation in palaeogeographically distant regions, suggesting that hydrolysis of CO2 led to a short but substantial decrease of seawater pH that slowed down or inhibited precipitation of calcium carbonate minerals. The cessation of carbonate sedimentation correlates with a major marine extinction event, which especially affected organisms with aragonitic or high-Mg calcitic skeletons and little physiological control of biocalcification. These findings strengthen current concerns that ocean acidification from industrial CO2 release threatens biotopes that are dominated by such organisms, in particular tropical reef systems.

Abstract

Palaeobotanical and geochemical evidence indicate a sudden rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) across the Triassic-Jurassic boundary, probably reflecting the combined effect of extensive volcanic degassing and thermal dissociation of marine gas hydrates. Using carbon isotopes as a geochemical marker, we found that the onset of the CO2 emissions coincided with an interruption of carbonate sedimentation in palaeogeographically distant regions, suggesting that hydrolysis of CO2 led to a short but substantial decrease of seawater pH that slowed down or inhibited precipitation of calcium carbonate minerals. The cessation of carbonate sedimentation correlates with a major marine extinction event, which especially affected organisms with aragonitic or high-Mg calcitic skeletons and little physiological control of biocalcification. These findings strengthen current concerns that ocean acidification from industrial CO2 release threatens biotopes that are dominated by such organisms, in particular tropical reef systems.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Paleontological Institute and Museum
Dewey Decimal Classification:560 Fossils & prehistoric life
Uncontrolled Keywords:Ocean Acidification; Biomineralization; Skeletal mineralogy, Mass extinction, Triassic, Jurassic
Language:English
Date:July 2008
Deposited On:10 Feb 2009 14:30
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 12:48
Publisher:Schweizerbart
Series Name:Neues Jahrbuch für Geologie und Paläontologie
ISSN:0077-7749
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1127/0077-7749/2008/0249-0119

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