The stratigraphy of mass extinction

  title={The stratigraphy of mass extinction},
  author={Steven M. Holland and Mark E. Patzkowsky},
Patterns of last occurrences of fossil species are often used to infer the tempo and timing of mass extinction, even though last occurrences generally precede the time of extinction. Numerical simulations with constant extinction demonstrate that last occurrences are not randomly distributed, but tend to cluster at subaerial unconformities, surfaces of forced regression, flooding surfaces and intervals of stratigraphical condensation, all of which occur in predictable stratigraphical positions… 
Stratigraphic signatures of mass extinctions: ecological and sedimentary determinants
By tracing stratigraphic ranges of extant mollusc species preserved in the Holocene succession of the Po coastal plain (Italy), it is demonstrated that, if mass extinction took place today, complex but entirely false extinction patterns would be recorded regionally due to shifts in local community composition and non-random variation in the abundance of skeletal remains.
Ecological disruption precedes mass extinction
  • S. Holland
  • Geography, Environmental Science
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
  • 2016
The ecological changes in marine planktonic communities not only during, but preceding the Late Ordovician (447–444 Ma) mass extinction are documented.
Biogeographic and bathymetric determinants of brachiopod extinction and survival during the Late Ordovician mass extinction
It is argued that the LOME, long regarded as non-selective, is highly selective along biogeographic and bathymetric axes that are not closely correlated with taxonomic identity.
Ecological regime shift preserved in the Anthropocene stratigraphic record
It is shown that the youngest (Anthropocene) fossil record on the northern Adriatic continental shelf provides decadal-scale resolution that accurately documents an abrupt ecological change affecting benthic communities during the twentieth century.
The best sections method of studying mass extinctions
  • S. Lucas
  • Environmental Science, Geography
  • 2017
Phanerozoic mass extinctions have been studied primarily by analysing global diversity patterns compiled from the published literature. However, such compilations are beset by problems of incorrect
Harnessing stratigraphic bias at the section scale: conodont diversity in the Homerian (Silurian) of the Midland Platform, England
Fossil abundance and diversity in geological successions are subject to bias arising from shifting depositional and diagenetic environments, resulting in variable rates of fossil accumulation and
The non-uniformity of fossil preservation
  • S. Holland
  • Environmental Science, Geography
    Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
  • 2016
Geologically, realistic models of preservation will provide substantially more reliable estimates of the origination of clades and should reflect this non-uniformity by using empirical estimates of fossil preservation that are spatially and temporally partitioned, or by using indirect proxies of fossil preserved.
Past, present, and future mass extinctions
Pre-mass extinction decline of latest Permian ammonoids
The devastating end-Permian mass extinction is widely considered to have been caused by large-scale and rapid greenhouse gas release by Siberian magmatism. Although the proximate extinction
Subannual stable isotope records reveal climate warming and seasonal anoxia associated with two extinction intervals across the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary on Seymour Island, Antarctica
High-resolution stable isotope (δ18O and δ13C) sclerochronology of accretionary carbonate bivalve shells can provide subannual environmental records useful for understanding intervals of


Stratigraphic Variation in the Timing of First and Last Occurrences
Abstract With the exception of the Neogene, it is difficult in much of the fossil record to measure range offset; that is, the difference in age between the first or last occurrence of a species in a
Quantifying the process and abruptness of the end-Permian mass extinction
Abstract Studies of the end-Permian mass extinction have suggested a variety of patterns from a single catastrophic event to multiple phases. But most of these analyses have been based on fossil
The stratigraphic distribution of fossils
In several increasingly realistic steps, a model of the stratigraphic distribution of fossils is presented. The first and simplest step assumes that if a taxon was extant it will have been preserved.
Determinants of extinction in the fossil record
A new compilation of the amount of exposed marine sedimentary rock is used to predict how the observed fossil record of extinction would appear if the time series of true extinction rates were in fact smooth, and supports the hypothesis that much of the observed short-term volatility in extinction rates is an artefact of variability in the stratigraphic record.
Models for simulating the fossil record
Computer modeling of the distribution of fossils within depositional sequences provides a means for generating hypotheses and increasing understanding of the fossil record. The simulation presented
Origination, extinction, and mass depletions of marine diversity
Abstract In post-Cambrian time, five events—the end-Ordovician, end-Frasnian in the Late Devonian, end-Permian, end-Triassic, and end-Cretaceous—are commonly grouped as the “big five” global
Origination and Extinction through the Phanerozoic: A New Approach
  • M. Foote
  • Environmental Science, Geography
    The Journal of Geology
  • 2003
Observed first and last appearances of marine animal and microfossil genera in a way that explicitly takes incompleteness and its variation into consideration allows estimates of true rates of origination and extinction throughout the Phanerozoic.
Late Ordovician mass extinction
  • A. Elewa
  • Environmental Science, Geography
  • 2008
■ Abstract Near the end of the Late Ordovician, in the first of five mass extinctions in the Phanerozoic, about 85% of marine species died. The cause was a brief glacial interval that produced two
The Late Ordovician Mass Extinction
▪ Abstract Near the end of the Late Ordovician, in the first of five mass extinctions in the Phanerozoic, about 85% of marine species died. The cause was a brief glacial interval that produced two
Periodicity of extinctions in the geologic past.
  • D. RaupJ. Sepkoski
  • Geography, Environmental Science
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
  • 1984
The temporal distribution of the major extinctions over the past 250 million years has been investigated statistically using various forms of time series analysis and contains 12 extinction events that show a statistically significant periodicity.