[Eoas-seminar] Steffanie Sillitoe-Kukas prospectus defense

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Wed Apr 20 22:55:10 EDT 2022

Friday, 22 April, 1 PM to 3 PM

Prospectus Defense--Steffanie Sillitoe-Kukas

Title:  Geochemical Tracers of Volcanism at the Cretaceous-Paleogene Boundary

Major Prof. Munir Humayun


The last mass extinction on Earth, the Cretaceous-Paleogene (KPg) extinction, took place 66 million years ago and eliminated 76 % of all species, including the dinosaurs, the causes for which remain vigorously debated. Two possible hypotheses have been proposed as the cause of the KPg mass extinction: a large extra-terrestrial impact currently identified as the Chicxulub impact or the contemporaneous Deccan flood basalt volcanism in India. Rapid emplacement (< 1 million years) of large volumes (> 600,000 km3) of basaltic lava would release copious amounts of CO2 and SO2 along with other toxic gases that could result in a climatic and biotic catastrophe. Deccan volcanism was erupted in a series of phases, the end of one such phase (Poladpur) coinciding with the KPg extinction. For the Deccan to create the adverse environmental conditions necessary for an extinction, one of the phases must have erupted large volumes of lava outgassing sufficient SO2 to induce rapid climate change on an unprecedented scale. To determine if the eruptive intensity of Deccan volcanism was lethal enough to result in a global mass extinction, I propose to use volcanic aerosol trace metal proxies (e.g., Cd, Re) measured in contemporaneous sediments to determine effusion rates and frequencies of lava flows and correlate these events to changes in faunal assemblages observed in the same sedimentary records. In this study, I propose to analyze trace elements in four sedimentary sections spanning the KPg boundary. Together, these sections will enable me to explore the entirety of Deccan volcanism preceding the KPg boundary and immediately after. I also propose to analyze a selection of Deccan basalts to ascertain the degree of outgassing. Preliminary results for trace metals in sediments from two classic KPg sections at El Kef and Elles (Tunisia) will be shown.

Sensitive person warning: may contain graphic images of chemical data and of dead and/or dying dinosaurs.    

Munir Humayun is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Prospectus Defense Steffanie Sillitoe-Kukas
Time: Apr 22, 2022 01:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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Munir Humayun
Department of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Science
	& National High Magnetic Field Laboratory
Florida State University
1800 E. Paul Dirac Drive
Tallahassee, FL32310

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