[Eoas-seminar] Gerta Keller visit Feb 21-22

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Sun Feb 17 08:50:04 EST 2019

Prof. Gerta Keller (Princeton University) is visiting this week to present a seminar in the Department of Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Science. Gerta has performed the most intensive forensic study of the Cretaceous-Tertiary mass extinction to find that the famed asteroid impact was not the culprit. Gerta’s work shows that massive continental flood basalt eruptions from the Deccan created global havoc that timed precisely with the extinctions. She has new chronological and geochemical results, and a Science paper coming out this Thursday, that she will be speaking about in regards to the cause of the extinction. I have included a title and abstract for her talk below.

Keller seminar: Friday, February 22, in CAR 101 at  3:30 pm.

Paroxysmal Deccan Eruptions and Climate Change cause

End-Cretaceous Mass Extinction

Gerta Keller, Princeton University


Deccan volcanism and the Chicxulub impact are both linked to the end-Cretaceous mass extinction. The timing of these events relative to the mass extinction has long remained controversial. Mercury (Hg) anomalies from atmospheric fallout of Deccan eruptions in stratigraphic records provide a potential tool to discern the effects of volcanism versus impactor. The high-resolution Hg record from the astronomically-tuned Elles section (Tunisia), correlated with U-Pb geochronology of Deccan volcanism provides a robust proxy for Deccan volcanism. The time-resolved Hg record reveals massive volcanic eruptions (~30% of total Deccan volume) over the last 45 ky of the Maastrichtian ending with paroxysmal eruptions during the last 25 ky accompanied by ocean acidification and hyperthermal warming ending with the mass extinction. Recent speculations that the Chicxulub impact triggered a state shift in Deccan eruptions ~70 ky pre-KPB causing the mass extinction are unconfirmed and evidence for an impact coinciding with the mass extinction is lacking. (Science Feb. 21, 2019).

We look forward to seeing you at the seminar.

Munir Humayun
Department of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Science
	& National High Magnetic Field Laboratory
Florida State University
1800 E. Paul Dirac Drive
Tallahassee, FL32310
(850) 644-1908
(850) 644-0827 (FAX)

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