Magnetic and mineral markers of atmospheric halogen and acid rains during the major Deccan episode

TitleMagnetic and mineral markers of atmospheric halogen and acid rains during the major Deccan episode
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsFont, E, Fabre, S, Nédélec, A, Adatte, T, Keller, G, Veiga-Pires, C, Ponte, J, Mirão, J, Khozyem, H, Spangenberg, J
Conference NameEGU General Assembly
Date Published2013
PublisherGeophysical Research Abstracts
Conference LocationVienna
Other NumbersVol. 15
KeywordsAcid Rain, akaganeite, deccan volcanism, mass extinction, rock magnetism and weathering model.

Environmental changes linked to Deccan volcanism are still poorly known. A major limitation resides in the paucity of direct Deccan volcanism markers and in the geologically short interval where both impact and volcanism occurred, making it hard to evaluate their contributions to the mass extinction. We investigated the low magnetic susceptibility interval just below the Iridium-rich layer of the Bidart (France) section, which was recently hypothesized to be the result of palaeoenvironmental perturbations linked to paroxysmal Deccan phase-2. Results show a drastic decrease of detrital magnetite and presence of scarce akaganeite, a hypothesized reaction product formed in the aerosols derived from reaction of the volcanic plume with water and oxygen in the high atmosphere. A weathering model of the consequences of acidic rains on a continental regolith reveals nearly complete magnetite dissolution after about 31,000 years, which is consistent with our magnetic data and fall within the duration of the Deccan phase-2. These results highlight the nature and importance of the Deccan-related environmental changes leading up to the end-Cretaceous mass extinction.