ASU's Professor Ariel Anbar and graduate student Gregory Brennecka talk with Horizon host Ted Simmons about Earth’s largest mass extinction event, the end-Permian mass extinction.
The ASU-led team measured uranium isotopes in ancient carbonate rocks and found that a large, rapid shift in the chemistry of the world’s ancient oceans occurred around the extinction event.
Brennecka, working in Anbar’s research group, conducted the analysis of the samples. Anbar is a professor in ASU’s School of Earth and Space Exploration and the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. Achim Herrmann, a senior lecturer at Barrett, the Honors College at ASU, and Thomas Algeo of the University of Cincinnati, who collected the samples in China, helped guide the selection of samples and interpretation of data.
The team’s results were published in the Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences Oct. 10 in a paper titled, “Rapid expansion of oceanic anoxia immediately before the end-Permian mass extinction.”