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Smith Lecture - Dr. Courtney Sprain, University of Florida

Understanding the Causes and Consequences of the KPg Mass Extinction Event
Friday, January 20, 2023
3:30-4:30 PM
1528 1100 North University Building Map
Since the Cambrian explosion roughly 541 million years ago, the proliferation of life on Earth has been interrupted by five major mass extinctions events, marked by the sudden loss of 50 to 96% of all species on Earth. In general, these extinction events share many common factors: they are all geologically abrupt (occurring on timescales on the order of a few million years or less), they are commonly associated with major shifts in climate, and four out of the five mass extinction events correlate in time with the eruption of large igneous provinces (LIPs). However, to properly understand the ingredients that are necessary to cause large-scale ecosystem collapse, and to what extent these ancient events can inform our modern ecological crises and search for habitable planets, we have to step back from these broad generalizations and look into these extinction events in more detail. This presentation gives an overview of recent advances on this topic, specifically focused on the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction event, including high-precision geochronology, new methods for the assessment of eruptive tempo of LIPs, and multidisciplinary approaches, that are helping to clarify the causes and consequences of mass extinction events.
Building: 1100 North University Building
Event Type: Lecture / Discussion
Tags: Natural Sciences
Source: Happening @ Michigan from Earth and Environmental Sciences