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Proceedings Paper

Preliminary identification of fullerenes in the lowermost Jurassic strata, Queen Charlotte Islands, British Columbia
Author(s): Randall S. Perry; James W. Haggart; Peter D. Ward
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Paper Abstract

The Triassic-Jurassic (TJ) mass extinction (~200 mya) event is one of the most severe in geologic history. It is also one of the most poorly understood. Few geologic sections containing the TJ boundary interval have been identified globally, and most of those are poorly preserved; the paucity of suitable stratigraphic sections has prevented corroborative geochemical studies of this interval. Recently, fullerene molecules (C60 to C200) have been shown to be present in the mass extinction boundary intervals of the Permian-Triassic (PT) event (~251.4 mya), as well as the well-known “dinosaur” extinction event of the Cretaceous-Tertiary (KT) (~65 mya). The presence of fullerenes in both these extinction intervals has been used to invoke an extraterrestrial impact cause for the extinctions. Preliminary results of laser desorption mass spectrometry (LDMS) of selected samples from the Kennecott Point TJ boundary section, Queen Charlotte Islands, British Columbia, suggest that fullerenes (C60 to ~C200) are present in the section, stratigraphically above the extinction interval (as defined by paleontological and isotopic data), but not actually within the interval itself. The presence of fullerenes may not be diagnostic of an impact event.

Paper Details

Date Published: 10 February 2004
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 5163, Instruments, Methods, and Missions for Astrobiology VII, (10 February 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.509700
Show Author Affiliations
Randall S. Perry, Univ. of Washington (United States)
James W. Haggart, Geological Survey of Canada (Canada)
Peter D. Ward, Univ. of Washington (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5163:
Instruments, Methods, and Missions for Astrobiology VII
Richard B. Hoover; Alexei Yu. Rozanov, Editor(s)

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