Kerogen morphology and geochemistry at the Permian-Triassic transition in the Meishan section, South China: Implication for paleoenvironmental variation

Ken Sawada, Kunio Kaiho, Kazuki Okano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Detailed fluorescent microscopic observations and organic geochemical analyses for insoluble sedimentary organic matter (kerogens) are conducted on the end-Permian to earliest Triassic sediments in the Meishan section A of South China. The main objectives of the present study are to reconstruct variations of marine and terrestrial environments, and to evaluate bulk characteristics of terrestrial input in the palaeo-Tethys ocean for the Permian-Triassic boundary (PTB). Most of kerogens in the Meishan section are mainly composed of marine algae-derived amorphous organic matter, while terrestrial plant-derived amorphous organic matter is remarkably dominant in the mass extinction horizon reported previously. The relative abundances of marine organic matter may vary depending on marine production rather than terrestrial input in the palaeo-Tethys associated with changing terrestrial vegetation. We also identified aromatic furans as major compounds in kerogen pyrolysate of all layers. It is possible that sources of aromatic furans with alkyl group, fungi and lichen, proliferated as disaster biota in terrestrial ecosystem through the PTB. Higher abundances of herbaceous organic matter are observed in the layers above the mass extinction horizon. However, the conifer biomarker retene can be identified in kerogen pyrolysates of all layers. These results imply that the productions of herbaceous plants increased as dominant pioneer biota in early stage of recovery for terrestrial ecosystem after its collapse, but also that woody plant potentially continued to be produced in land area throughout the end-Permian and earliest-Triassic.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)78-90
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Asian Earth Sciences
Volume54-55
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Aug 2

Keywords

  • Aromatic furan
  • Fluorescent microscopic observation
  • Kerogen
  • Mass extinction
  • Permian-Triassic boundary
  • Retene
  • Terrestrial devastation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology
  • Earth-Surface Processes

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