Press-pulse: a general theory of mass extinction?

  title={Press-pulse: a general theory of mass extinction?},
  author={Nan Crystal Arens and Ian D. West},
Abstract Previous discussions of mass extinction mechanisms generally focused on circumstances unique to each event. However, some have proposed that extensive volcanism combined with bolide impact may offer a general mechanism of mass extinction. To test this hypothesis we compared generic extinction percentages for 73 stages or substages of the Mesozoic and Cenozoic. We found that the highest frequency of intervals with elevated extinction occurred when continental flood basalt volcanism and… 
The Alvarez Impact Theory of Mass Extinction; Limits to its Applicability and the “Great Expectations Syndrome”
For the past three decades, the Alvarez impact theory of mass extinction, causally related to catastrophic meteorite impacts, has been recurrently applied to multiple extinction boundaries. However,
Limits to biodiversity cycles from a unified model of mass-extinction events
  • G. Feulner
  • Biology
    International Journal of Astrobiology
  • 2011
It is shown that if there is a periodic extinction signal at all, it is much more likely to result from a combination of a comparatively weak periodic cause and various random factors.
The sixth mass extinction: Anthropocene and the human impact on biodiversity
Mass extinctions are a major pattern in macroevolution. Because of their frequency, quickness and global effects, they shaped the global biodiversity several times during the geological ages. As an
Past, present, and future mass extinctions
Abstract Enigmatic catastrophic events, involving mass extinction of life forms, have been recorded several times in the Earth history. In many cases, the causes and mechanisms of these major and
A preliminary test of the press-pulse extinction hypothesis: Palynological indicators of vegetation change preceding the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary, McCone County, Montana, USA
Many workers consider the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction the archetypal catastrophic pulse event caused solely by the Chicxulub bolide impact. However, based on a global scale analysis of marine
Abiotic causes of the great mass extinction of marine biota at the Triassic-Jurassic boundary
In the interval of the Triassic-Jurassic boundary up to 80% of marine species became extinct. The main hypotheses on the causes of this mass extinction are reviewed. The extinction was triggered by a
Relationship between impact-crater size and severity of related extinction episodes
Abstract How large must an extraterrestrial impact be to cause a peak episode of increased extinctions of life? Impact energies ≥ 3 × 107 Mt TNT (associated with terrestrial impact craters with final
Comparison of the ages of large-body impacts, flood-basalt eruptions, ocean-anoxic events and extinctions over the last 260 million years: a statistical study
Many studies have linked mass extinction events with the catastrophic effects of large-body impacts and flood-basalt eruptions, sometimes as competing explanations. We find that the ages of at least
Time Scales of Critical Events Around the Cretaceous-Paleogene Boundary
Radiometric dating establishes the mass extinction that killed the dinosaurs as synchronous with a large asteroid impact between the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary and associated mass extinctions with the Chicxulub bolide impact to within 32,000 years.
Evolution caused by extreme events
Several case studies of contemporary evolution in response to two types of extreme environmental perturbations, episodic (pulse) or prolonged (press).


Volcanism, impact and mass extinctions: incredible or credible coincidences?
Massive continental volcanism and/or bolide impacts are considered by many authors to have caused three major mass extinction events during the last 300 million years: the end-Permian, end-Cretaceous
Causes of mass extinctions
Both bolide impacts and  ood basalts have been suggested as the cause of major perturbations in the history of the biosphere, and the external (cosmic) and internal (Earth-bound) factors of mass
Biotic effects of impacts and volcanism
The biotic effects of late Maastrichtian mantle plume volcanism on Ninetyeast Ridge and Deccan volcanism mirror those of the Cretaceous–Tertiary (KT) mass extinction and impact event. Planktonic
Biotic effects of late Maastrichtian mantle plume volcanism: implications for impacts and mass extinctions
Abstract During the late Maastrichtian, DSDP Site 216 on Ninetyeast Ridge, Indian Ocean, passed over a mantle plume leading to volcanic eruptions, islands built to sea level, and catastrophic
Large igneous provinces and mass extinctions
Comparing the timing of mass extinctions with the formation age of large igneous provinces reveals a close correspondence in five cases, but previous claims that all such provinces coincide with
Identifying Phanerozoic extinction controls: statistical considerations and preliminary results
  • N. Macleod
  • Geology
    Geological Society, London, Special Publications
  • 2004
Abstract Two prominent patterns have been recognized in Phanerozoic extinction data: (1) a quasi-periodic distribution of extinction-intensity peaks, and (2) a linear, declining background extinction
Mass extinctions: Persistent problems and new directions
Difficulties in resolving the fine details of taxon ranges and abundances immediately prior to and after an extinction boundary and the scarcity of simple, unitary cause-and-effect relations in complex biological systems underlie these long-standing disagreements.
Lessons from the past: Biotic recoveries from mass extinctions
  • D. Erwin
  • Biology, Medicine
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
  • 2001
Empirical studies reveal a more complex dynamic, including positive feedback and an exponential growth phase during recoveries, which is far from a model of refilling ecospace, which must be rebuilt during recovery.
Environmental Perturbations Caused by the Impacts of Asteroids and Comets
We review the major impact-associated mechanisms proposed to cause extinctions at the Cretaceous-Tertiary geological boundary. We then discuss how the proposed extinction mechanisms may relate to the
Asteroid/comet impact clusters, flood basalts and mass extinctions: Significance of isotopic age overlaps
Morgan et al. [J. Phipps Morgan, T.J. Reston, C.R. Ranero. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 217 (2004) 263–284.], referring to an overlap between the isotopic ages of volcanic events and four epoch/stage