Prevailing anoxia in the Kungurian (Permian) of South China: Possible response to divergent climate trends between the tropics and Gondwana

Chao Liu, Emilia Jarochowska, Yuansheng Du*, Axel Munnecke, Xianduo Dai

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

The Kungurian ocean-climate system has received little attention, but a new compilation of geochemical and paleoclimatic proxies suggest more complex climate dynamics during the Late Paleozoic icehouse–greenhouse transition than previously considered. Here, integrated carbon isotope stratigraphical, sedimentological, and geochemical data across two Early–Middle Permian successions in the Youjiang Basin, South China, is presented. These proxies indicate widespread anoxia below or near the water-sediment interface in South China during the Kungurian. High primary productivity, high sedimentation rate, and a relative sea-level rise are here proposed as being responsible for this process in the late Kungurian, but cannot account for the remaining anoxia at cycle boundaries. We put forward a hypothesis that divergent climate trends between the tropics and Gondwana might have played an important role in ocean stagnation and prevailing O2-deficient conditions in and probably outside South China during the Kungurian. The termination of anoxia in this region during the latest Kungurian is attributed to an intensification of oceanic circulation, a rise in atmospheric pO2 concentrations, a sea-level drop, depressed primary productivity, and low sedimentation rates. This study calls for further high-resolution sedimentological and geochemical investigations on the paleotropics outside South China, in order to elucidate the icehouse-greenhouse transition at the global scale.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-93
Number of pages13
JournalGondwana Research
Volume49
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2017

Keywords

  • Early–Middle Permian
  • Icehouse–greenhouse climate transition
  • Ocean stagnation
  • Primary productivity

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