Deep-sea record of impact apparently unrelated to mass extinction in the Late Triassic

Tetsuji Onoue, Honami Sato, Tomoki Nakamura, Takaaki Noguchi, Yoshihiro Hidaka, Naoki Shirai, Mitsuru Ebihara, Takahito Osawa, Yuichi Hatsukawa, Yosuke Toh, Mitsuo Koizumi, Hideo Harada, Michael J. Orchard, Munetomo Nedachi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

28 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The 34-million-year (My) interval of the Late Triassic is marked by the formation of several large impact structures on Earth. Late Triassic impact events have been considered a factor in biotic extinction events in the Late Triassic (e.g., end-Triassic extinction event), but this scenario remains controversial because of a lack of stratigraphic records of ejecta deposits. Here, we report evidence for an impact event (platinum group elements anomaly with nickel-rich magnetite and microspherules) from the middle Norian (Upper Triassic) deep-sea sediment in Japan. This includes anomalously high abundances of iridium, up to 41.5 parts per billion (ppb), in the ejecta deposit, which suggests that the iridium-enriched ejecta layers of the Late Triassic may be found on a global scale. The ejecta deposit is constrained by microfossils that suggest correlation with the 215.5-Mya, 100-km-wide Manicouagan impact crater in Canada. Our analysis of radiolarians shows no evidence of a mass extinction event across the impact event horizon, and no contemporaneous faunal turnover is seen in other marine planktons. However, such an event has been reported among marine faunas and terrestrial tetrapods and floras in North America. We, therefore, suggest that the Manicouagan impact triggered the extinction of terrestrial and marine organisms near the impact site but not within the pelagic marine realm.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19134-19139
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume109
Issue number47
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Nov 20
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Chert
  • Mino terrane
  • Panthalassa
  • Pelagic sediments

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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    Onoue, T., Sato, H., Nakamura, T., Noguchi, T., Hidaka, Y., Shirai, N., Ebihara, M., Osawa, T., Hatsukawa, Y., Toh, Y., Koizumi, M., Harada, H., Orchard, M. J., & Nedachi, M. (2012). Deep-sea record of impact apparently unrelated to mass extinction in the Late Triassic. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 109(47), 19134-19139. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1209486109