A study involving Professors Tracy Frank and Chris Fielding in the Department of Earth Sciences provides new insights into the latest Permian mass extinction. Published in Nature Communications, the team collected and analyzed samples from terrestrial sites in southern Pangea for mercury, which is a proxy for volcanic activity. These southern hemisphere mercury records capture a signal of enhanced Siberian Traps volcanism during the latest Permian despite the large igneous province being in the high latitudes of the northern hemisphere. These results suggest long-distance atmospheric transport of mercury from the Siberian Traps eruptions and highlight global impact of the eruptions.
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