Climate-forced Hg-remobilization associated with fern mutagenesis in the aftermath of the end-Triassic extinction

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


  • Fulltext

    Final published version, 2.48 MB, PDF document

  • Remco Bos
  • Wang Zheng
  • Lindström, Malin Sofie
  • Hamed Sanei
  • Irene Waajen
  • Isabel M. Fendley
  • Tamsin A. Mather
  • Yang Wang
  • Jan Rohovec
  • Tomáš Navrátil
  • Appy Sluijs
  • Bas van de Schootbrugge
The long-term effects of the Central Atlantic Magmatic Province, a large igneous province connected to the end-Triassic mass-extinction (201.5 Ma), remain largely elusive. Here, we document the persistence of volcanic-induced mercury (Hg) pollution and its effects on the biosphere for ~1.3 million years after the extinction event. In sediments recovered in Germany (Schandelah-1 core), we record not only high abundances of malformed fern spores at the Triassic-Jurassic boundary, but also during the lower Jurassic Hettangian, indicating repeated vegetation disturbance and stress that was eccentricity-forced. Crucially, these abundances correspond to increases in sedimentary Hg-concentrations. Hg-isotope ratios (δ202Hg, Δ199Hg) suggest a volcanic source of Hg-enrichment at the Triassic-Jurassic boundary but a terrestrial source for the early Jurassic peaks. We conclude that volcanically injected Hg across the extinction was repeatedly remobilized from coastal wetlands and hinterland areas during eccentricity-forced phases of severe hydrological upheaval and erosion, focusing Hg-pollution in the Central European Basin.
Original languageEnglish
Article number3596
JournalNature Communications
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2024

    Research areas

  • Faculty of Science - Mutagenesis, Hg-pollution, end-Triassic mass extinction, volcanism, eccentricity, Hg-isotopes, fern spores, Jurassic, Hettangian

ID: 390150822