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Published January 2004 | public
Journal Article

Paleomagnetic Constraints on the Permian-Triassic Boundary in Terrestrial Strata of the Karoo Supergroup, South Africa: Implications for Causes of the End-Permian Extinction Event


The closure of the Palaeozoic witnessed the greatest biotic crisis in earth history. Surprisingly little is known about the effects and timing of the terrestrial counterpart of the well-described End-Permian mass extinction from known marine successions worldwide. In the present study, reliable paleomagnetic results were obtained from a PT boundary section in the terrestrial Karoo Basin of South Africa. Permo-Triassic aged mudstones from a locality in the Eastern Cape Province yielded two magnetic chrons, reverse followed by normal (with the boundary possibly close to the reversal). This extends to results from a previous study: thereby jointly identifying a R/N/R polarity pattern for this boundary interval. The PTB interval is constrained below the red mudstones of the Beaufort Group at the present locality and within reverse-magnetised green mudstone, implying a diachronic relation between the marine and terrestrial End-Permian mass extinction events.

Additional Information

© 2004 International Association for Gondwana Research, Japan. Manuscript received August 30,2002; accepted May 16, 2003.

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