Thursday, June 01, 2006

Toyonian Mass Extinction

The Kalkarindji continental flood basalt province: A new Cambrian large igneous province in Australia with possible links to faunal extinctions. 2006. L. Glass and D. Phillips. Geology 34: 461-464.

Glass and Phillips present new geochemical and geochronological data that link scattered Cambrian basalt suites across northern and central Australia into a single large igneous province (LIP). This newly identified province, named the Kalkarindji Continental Flood Basalt Province (CFBP), is Australia's largest and oldest Phanerozoic igneous province. The province covers an area of at least 1 million square kilometers with an estimated original volume exceeding 0.5 million cubic kilometers, which ranks the province with other CFBP's such as the Deccan, Parana, and Karoo LIP's, in terms of size.

New high-precision 40Ar/39Ar ages suggest that the newly identified Kalkarindji CFBP may be linked to the early Toyonian mass extinction event at the Early/Middle Cambrian boundary, thus providing the oldest-known possible link between a LIP and a mass extinction event.

Image link