High temperature methane emissions from Large Igneous Provinces as contributors to late Permian mass extinctions

Chen, Chengsheng and Qin, Shengfei and Wang, Yunpeng and Holland, Greg and Wynn, Peter and Zhong, Wanxu and Zhou, Zheng (2022) High temperature methane emissions from Large Igneous Provinces as contributors to late Permian mass extinctions. Nature Communications, 13 (1). ISSN 2041-1723

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Abstract

Methane (CH4) emissions induced by Large Igneous Provinces have the potential to contribute to global environmental changes that triggered mass extinctions in Earth’s history. Here, we explore the source of methane in gas samples from central Sichuan Basin, which is within the Emeishan Large Igneous Province (ELIP). We report evidence of high methane formation temperatures (between 249−17/+19 and 256−20/+22 °C) from clumped methane measurements and mantle-derived signatures of noble gases, which verify that oil-cracked CH4 and pyrobitumen are by-products within the reservoirs, associated with hydrothermal activity and enhanced heating by the ELIP. We estimate the volume of oil-cracked CH4 induced by the ELIP and argue that CH4 emissions would have been sufficient to initiate global warming prior to the end of the Permian. We also suggest that similar emissions from oil-cracked CH4 associated with the Siberian Traps Large Igneous Province may also have contributed to the end-Permian mass extinction significantly.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Nature Communications
Uncontrolled Keywords:
/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/3100
Subjects:
ID Code:
179411
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
22 Nov 2022 17:33
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
22 Nov 2022 17:33