On the end-Triassic mass extinction – In Danish

This spring an entire issue of the Danish Geoscience journal Geoviden was dedicated to our research project “The Triassic–Jurassic boundary: Impact of a Large Igneous Province on the geobiosphere”. Geoviden is a popular science magazine aimed at high school students and everyone else interested in geology and geography. Our issue is called “A crisis in the history of life” and  presents the background, hypothesis and progress of our Geocenter Denmark financed project. Unfortunately for non-Scandinavian readers it is in Danish. It is richly illustrated and covers various aspects of our research. It can be downloaded for free using this link, so feel free to check it out: Geoviden No 1 2016: “En krise i livets historie”


Front page illustration by Stefan Sølberg, GEUS.


The Upper Triassic of Austria: report from an IAS fieldtrip, part I

 This year I participated in the 29th International Association of Sedimentologists (IAS) meeting in Schladming, Austria, and signed up for the pre-meeting excursion to the Upper Triassic of the northern Calcareous Alps. Four days of beautiful scenery, interesting outcrops, fossils, sedimentary structures etc. superbly guided by Sylvain Richoz from the University of Graz and Leopold Krystyn from the University of Vienna, and in the company of nice and fun colleagues and helpful and patient bus drivers.

We left Schladming early on the 7th of September and headed off towards Lieslingkogel, some 3 km NE of Zlambach. Here we studied the Norian to early Rhaetian classical Hallstadt facies of the Salzkammergut. The sedimentary sequence, which is dominated by unfossiliferous limestone with alternating fossil rich intervals, has been overturned so we were walking along bedding planes turned into Swiss cheese by drill holes for magnetostratigraphy.

Lieslingkogel: Norian carbonate rocks turned into Swiss cheese (Photo: Karen Dybkjær)

We also saw some really nice Triassic ammonites.

Late Triassic ammonites at Lieslingkogel. (Photo: Sofie Lindström)

Later that day we visited the proposed GSSP boundary section for the Norian/Rhaetian boundary at Steinbergkogel. The section preserves a ca 10 m thick succession from the Hallstadt Limestone Formation with a transition to the Zlamback Formation. The proposed marker for the Norian/Rhaetian boundary is the conodont Misikella posthernsteini.

One of our guides pointing at the proposed Norian/Rhaetian boundary. (Photo: Sofie Lindström)

In the evening we visited the scenic Hallstadt village, beautifully located on the shore of Lake Hallstadt before heading off to Gosau where we would spend the night.

Hallstadt village (Photo: Sofie Lindström).

Upcoming GTS 2012 presents major changes in the Triassic

Last week I participated in the FORCE meeting “Applications of biostratigraphy to the Norwegian Continental Shelf” in Stavanger, Norway. Besides many other interesting biostratigraphic talks, Felix Gradstein presented the upcoming 2012 edition of the Geologic Time Scale (GTS) (FORCE meeting abstracts, Gradstein et al., page 6).

Compared to the last GTS2004 there will be some remarkable changes, especially concerning the Triassic, where the ages of four Middle to Upper Triassic stages have changed between 6 and 12 million years.

The new GTS2012 will be published by Elsevier in mid 2012.