The Permian-Triassic transition; historical review of the most important ecological crises with special emphasis on the Iberian Peninsula and western-central Europe

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Authors:Virgili, Carmina
Author Affiliations:Primary:
CSIC-Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Instituto de Geología Económica, Madrid, Spain
Volume Title:Palaeobiodiversity and palaeoenvironments in Permian playas
Volume Authors:Gand, Georges, editor
Source:Palaeobiodiversity and palaeoenvironments in Permian playas, edited by Georges Gand. Journal of Iberian Geology, 34(1), p.123-158. Publisher: Servicio de Publicaciones, Universidad Complutense, Madrid, Spain. ISSN: 1698-6180
Publication Date:2008
Note:In English with Spanish summary. 5 refs.; illus., incl. chart, sect., tables, geol. sketch map
Summary:This review traces the transition from the Permian to Triassic with the formation of the Pangean supercontinent which led to the creation of precareous terrestrial living conditions which resulted in one of the most important climatic and biological crises recorded in the history of the Earth. Enormous polar ice caps contrasted with hotter and more temperate climates at mid to tropical latitudes. Huge, mid-continental areas, far from marine inflence, were very arid. The beginning of the Mesozoic Era was marked by initiation of the breakup of Pangea which led to the present-day shape of the Earth's surface. At the end of the Permian Period 85-95% of marine and land species had disappeared, a biological crisis which conceivably can be attributed to dramatic changes in climate brought about by a vast increase in volcanic activity associated with the continental breakup. The eruption of enormous lava flows and the projection of clouds of dust and gas into the atmosphere, combined with a marked regression of marine waters at the end of the Permian are recorded in the stratigraphic record and in evidence from geochemical studies. Extinction and renewal is very evident in the fossil records. At the beginning of the Triassic Period terrestrial vegetation had disappeared in huge areas; signs of recuperation did not appear (in the form of fungus spores) until the end of the Scytian (Lower Triassic), and evidence of the return of conifers does not appear until Anisian (Middle Triassic) times. Although these events took place about 250 million years ago the analysis of this great crisis provides a vital perspective that can contibute to our understanding of climatic changes throughout the history of the Earth, an understanding that may help us to manage the present and future of our planet. [J.G.M.]
Sections:Environmental studies; Various topics
Subjects:Climate change; Eruptions; Extinct taxa; Mass extinctions; Mesozoic; Paleoclimatology; Paleoecology; Paleoenvironment; Paleogeography; Paleozoic; Pangaea; Permian; Regression; Revision; Sea-level changes; Species diversity; Triassic; Central Europe; Europe; Iberian Peninsula; Portugal; Southern Europe; Spain; Western Europe
Abstract Numbers:08M/2653
Record ID:2009026098
Copyright Information:GeoRef, Copyright 2020 American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from Mineralogical Abstracts, United Kingdom, Twickenham, United Kingdom, Reference includes data from Instituto Geologico y Minero de Espana
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