Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Permian Extraterrestrial Impact Caused Largest Mass Extinction On Earth

Date:
August 28, 2001
Source:
Geological Society Of America
Summary:
What actually ended the Permian Period some 251 million years ago? Most Earth scientists think gradual sea fall, climate change, oceanic anoxia, and volcanism were the causes. But that's not so. A group of geologists working in southern China found evidence that it was an asteroid or a comet that smacked our planet, exploded, and then caused the most severe biotic crisis in the history of life on Earth.

What actually ended the Permian Period some 251 million years ago? Most Earth scientists think gradual sea fall, climate change, oceanic anoxia, and volcanism were the causes. But that's not so. A group of geologists working in southern China found evidence that it was an asteroid or a comet that smacked our planet, exploded, and then caused the most severe biotic crisis in the history of life on Earth.

Related Articles


In the September issue of Geology, Kunio Kaiho from Tohoku University reports their findings of a remarkable sulfur and strontium isotope excursion at the end of the Permian, along with a coincident concentration of impact-metamorphosed grains and kaolinite and a significant decrease in manganese, phosphorus, calcium, and microfossils (foraminifera). Their discoveries at Meishan (Mei Mountain) suggest that an asteroid or a comet hit the ocean at the end of the Permian, triggered a rapid and massive release of sulfur from the mantle to the ocean-atmosphere system, swooped up a significant amount of oxygen, precipitated acid rain, and possibly set off large-scale volcanism.

"Understanding the cause of this event is important because it represents the largest mass extinction," Kaiho said, "and it led to the subsequent origination of recent biota on Earth."

Kaiho discovered the significance of the site when he took samples from it in 1996 and again in 1998. He plans to investigate other evidence of impact events.

"We would like to clarify paleoenvironmental changes and causes of the end Permian mass extinction in different places and of the other mass extinctions which occurred during the past 500 million years: end Ordovician, Late Devonian, and end Triassic," he said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Geological Society Of America. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Geological Society Of America. "Permian Extraterrestrial Impact Caused Largest Mass Extinction On Earth." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 August 2001. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/08/010828075843.htm>.
Geological Society Of America. (2001, August 28). Permian Extraterrestrial Impact Caused Largest Mass Extinction On Earth. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 19, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/08/010828075843.htm
Geological Society Of America. "Permian Extraterrestrial Impact Caused Largest Mass Extinction On Earth." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/08/010828075843.htm (accessed April 19, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Un-Bee-Lievable: Bees on the Loose After Washington Truck Crash

Un-Bee-Lievable: Bees on the Loose After Washington Truck Crash

Reuters - US Online Video (Apr. 17, 2015) A truck carrying honey bees overturns near Lynnwood, Washington, spreading boxes of live bees across the highway. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Our Love Of Puppy Dog Eyes Explained By Science

Our Love Of Puppy Dog Eyes Explained By Science

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2015) Researchers found a spike in oxytocin occurs in both humans and dogs when they gaze into each other&apos;s eyes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dog Flu Spreading in Midwestern States

Dog Flu Spreading in Midwestern States

AP (Apr. 17, 2015) Dog flu is spreading in several Midwestern states. Dog daycare centers and veterinary offices are taking precautions. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Rare Whale Spotted in Gulf of Mexico

Raw: Rare Whale Spotted in Gulf of Mexico

AP (Apr. 17, 2015) Researchers from the E/V Nautilus had quite a surprise Tuesday, when a curious sperm whale swam around their remotely operated vehicle in the Gulf of Mexico. Cameras captured the encounter. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins