Intensified continental chemical weathering and carbon-cycle perturbations linked to volcanism during the Triassic-Jurassic transition. Academic Article uri icon


  • Direct evidence of intense chemical weathering induced by volcanism is rare in sedimentary successions. Here, we undertake a multiproxy analysis (including organic carbon isotopes, mercury (Hg) concentrations and isotopes, chemical index of alteration (CIA), and clay minerals) of two well-dated Triassic-Jurassic (T-J) boundary sections representing high- and low/middle-paleolatitude sites. Both sections show increasing CIA in association with Hg peaks near the T-J boundary. We interpret these results as reflecting volcanism-induced intensification of continental chemical weathering, which is also supported by negative mass-independent fractionation (MIF) of odd Hg isotopes. The interval of enhanced chemical weathering persisted for ~2 million years, which is consistent with carbon-cycle model results of the time needed to drawdown excess atmospheric CO2 following a carbon release event. Lastly, these data also demonstrate that high-latitude continental settings are more sensitive than low/middle-latitude sites to shifts in weathering intensity during climatic warming events.

published proceedings

  • Nat Commun

altmetric score

  • 47.422

author list (cited authors)

  • Shen, J., Yin, R., Zhang, S., Algeo, T. J., Bottjer, D. J., Yu, J., ... Xie, S.

citation count

  • 39

complete list of authors

  • Shen, Jun||Yin, Runsheng||Zhang, Shuang||Algeo, Thomas J||Bottjer, David J||Yu, Jianxin||Xu, Guozhen||Penman, Donald||Wang, Yongdong||Li, Liqin||Shi, Xiao||Planavsky, Noah J||Feng, Qinglai||Xie, Shucheng

publication date

  • January 2022