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Title: Mercury spikes as evidence of extended arc-volcanism around the Devonian-Carboniferous boundary in the South Tian Shan (southern Uzbekistan)
Authors: Rakociński, Michał
Pisarzowska, Agnieszka
Corradini, Carlo
Narkiewicz, Katarzyna
Dubicka, Zofia
Abdiyev, Nuriddin
Keywords: mass extinction; Hangenberg Crisis, 359 Ma; the cause of mass extinction
Issue Date: 2021
Citation: "Scientific Reports", Vol. 11, 2021, art. no. 5708, s. 1-15
Abstract: Recently, the end-Devonian mass extinction (Hangenberg Crisis, 359 Ma) was identified as a first-order mass extinction, albeit not one of the “Big Five” events. Many marine and terrestrial organisms were affected by this crisis. The cause of this mass extinction is still conjectural and widely discussed. Here we report anomalously high mercury (Hg) concentrations from the South Tian Shan (Uzbekistan), together with correlation using conodont biostratigraphic data. Hg enrichment (to 5825 ppb) was detected in marine deposits encompassing the Hangenberg Crisis. In the Novchomok section, the Hangenberg Crisis interval does not contain typical Hangenberg Black Shales; however, by means of inorganic geochemistry (enrichment of redox-sensitive elements such as Mo, V, and U) we detected an equivalent level despite the lack of marked facies changes. This is the first record of Hg and Hg/ total organic carbon anomalies in marly shales, marls and carbonates that are totally independent of facies changes, implying that volcanism was the most probable cause of the Hangenberg Crisis. This conclusion is confirmed by the presence of a negative δ13C excursion, which may reflect massive release of isotopically light carbon from volcanogenic and thermogenic devolatilization likely combined with increased arc-volcanism activity worldwide at the end of the Devonian.
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-021-85043-6
ISSN: 2045-2322
Appears in Collections:Artykuły (WNP)

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