Spatial variation in sediment fluxes, redox conditions, and productivity in the Permian-Triassic Panthalassic Ocean

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Two Permian/Triassic boundary sections in central Japan provide a rare window into environmental conditions within the Panthalassic Ocean, which encompassed more than half the Earth's surface at 252. Ma. Integration of petrographic, geochemical, and time series data provides new insights regarding the fluxes of major and trace components to the sediment as well as environmental conditions in both the deep and intermediate water masses at each study site. The Ubara section was located in a high-productivity peri-equatorial location, whereas the Gujo-Hachiman section was located in a moderate-productivity location at some distance from the paleoequator. An upward transition from gray organic-poor cherts to black siliceous mudstones at both sites occurred in conjunction with increased primary productivity, intensified euxinia within the oxygen-minimum zone (OMZ), and decimation of the radiolarian zooplankton community. Euxinia in the OMZ of the equatorial Panthalassic Ocean developed episodically for a ~. 200-250. kyr interval during the Late Permian, followed by an abrupt intensification and lateral expansion of the OMZ around the Permian-Triassic boundary. Throughout the study interval, bottom waters at both sites remained mostly suboxic, a finding that counters hypotheses of development of a "superanoxic" Permo-Triassic deep ocean as a consequence of stagnation of oceanic overturning circulation. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.

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Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology

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