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Benton M. J. The End-Permian Mass Extinction Events on Land in Russia. Izvestiya of Saratov University. Earth Sciences, 2008, vol. 8, iss. 2, pp. 12-22. DOI:

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The End-Permian Mass Extinction Events on Land in Russia


The mass extinction of life in the sea and on land 251 million years ago, at the Permian-Triassic boundary, was undoubtedly the largest mass extinction of all time. Sedimentological and geochemical evidence shows that global temperatures rose, that there was extensive oceanic anoxia, and that there was massive erosion of sediment, especially soils, from the land. These phenomena might have been a consequence of the massive eruptions of the Siberian Traps, which produced carbon dioxide, and greenhouse gas, as well as acid rain, which killed plants and led to stripping of soils. Our field work in Russia over the past decade, has shown evidence for massive erosion at the boundary, and for the nature of ecosystems collapse and slow recovery after the event. 


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