• Durations of submarine and subaerial eruptions in the Emeishan LIP are constrained.
• Submarine volcanism occurred during the Guadalupian-Lopingian transition.
• Subaerial tuff eruptions extended to the Early-Middle Wuchiapingian.
Massive CO2 and SO2 degassed from large igneous provinces (LIPs) are thought to cause ocean acidification and calcification crisis with a significant loss of calcified marine biota. The ocean acidification caused by the Emeishan LIP event has been proposed as one of the important factors that triggered the end-Guadalupian (Middle Permian) crisis, although the driving mechanism remains unclear. Here we represent a detailed field investigation combined with LA-ICP-MS, SIMS and CA-ID-TIMS zircon geochronology of tuffs from four volcanic sections in the eastern part of the Emeishan LIP. Our new data combined with previous results from this LIP confirm that: (i) the submarine volcanism occurred between ~260.7 Ma and ~ 257.9 Ma, with most basaltic eruptions at ~260.1 Ma to 259.5 Ma; and (ii) explosive tuff eruptions occurred during ~257.9 Ma to ~256.9 Ma in the subaerial environment. We propose a model involving SO2 release from the submarine basaltic eruptions in the Emeishan LIP as the trigger of the end-Guadalupian ocean acidification, due to the high solubility of SO2 in seawater that could produce strongly acidic conditions. The late explosive silicic volcanism in the subaerial setting during Early to Middle Wuchiapingian (Late Permian) might have been a potential strong driver of the global Wuchiapingian cooling event.
Zhu J., Zhang Z., Santosh M., Tan S. & Jin Z., 2021. Submarine basaltic eruptions across the Guadalupian-Lopingian transition in the Emeishan large igneous province: Implication for end-Guadalupian extinction of marine biota. Gondwana Research 92: 228-238. Article (subscription required).