Chemostratigraphic evidence of Deccan volcanism from the marine osmium isotope record. Academic Article uri icon


  • Continental flood basalt (CFB) volcanism is hypothesized to have played a causative role in global climate change and mass extinctions. Uncertainties associated with radiometric dating preclude a clear chronological assessment of the environmental consequences of CFB volcanism. Our results document a 25% decline in the marine 187Os/188Os record that predates the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary (KTB) and coincides with late Maastrichtian warming. We argue that this decline provides a chemostratigraphic marker of Deccan volcanism and thus constitutes compelling evidence that the main environmental consequence of Deccan volcanism was a transient global warming event of 3 degrees to 5 degrees C that is fully resolved from the KTB mass extinction.

publication date

  • November 21, 2003