Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

The role of sea-level change and marine anoxia in the Frasnian-Famennian (Late Devonian) mass extinction\ud \ud

By D.P.G. Bond and P.B. Wignall

Abstract

Johnson et al. (Johnson, J.G., Klapper, G., Sandberg, C.A., 1985. Devonian eustatic fluctuations in Euramerica. Geological Society of America Bulletin 96, 567–587) proposed one of the first explicit links between marine anoxia, transgression and mass extinction for the Frasnian–Famennian (F–F, Late Devonian) mass extinction. This cause-and-effect nexus has been accepted by many but others prefer sea-level fall and cooling as an extinction mechanism. New facies analysis of sections in the USA and Europe (France, Germany, Poland), and comparison with sections known from the literature in Canada, Australia and China reveal several high-frequency relative sea-level changes in the late Frasnian to earliest Famennian extinction interval. A clear signal of major transgression is seen within the Early rhenana Zone (e.g. drowning of the carbonate platform in the western United States). This is the base of transgressive–regressive Cycle IId of the Johnson et al. (Johnson, J.G., Klapper, G., Sandberg, C.A., 1985. Devonian eustatic fluctuations in Euramerica. Geological Society of America Bulletin 96, 567–587) eustatic curve. This was curtailed by regression and sequence boundary generation within the early linguiformis Zone, recorded by hardground and karstification surfaces in sections from Canada to Australia. This major eustatic fall probably terminated platform carbonate deposition over wide areas, especially in western North America. The subsequent transgression in the later linguiformis Zone, recorded by the widespread development of organic-rich shale facies, is also significant because it is associated with the expansion of anoxic deposition, known as the Upper Kellwasser Event. Johnson et al.'s (Johnson, J.G., Klapper, G., Sandberg, C.A., 1985. Devonian eustatic fluctuations in Euramerica. Geological Society of America Bulletin 96, 567–587) original transgression-anoxia–extinction link is thus supported, although some extinction losses of platform carbonate biota during the preceeding regression cannot be ruled out. Conodont faunas suffered major losses during the Upper Kellwasser Event, with deep-water taxa notably affected. This renders unreliable any eustatic analyses utilising changes in conodont biofacies. Claims for a latest Frasnian regression are not supported, and probably reflect poor biostratigraphic dating of the early linguiformis Zone sequence boundary.\u

Publisher: Elsevier B.V.
Year: 2008
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.whiterose.ac.uk:3460

Suggested articles


To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.