New Publication: Elucidating the relationship between the later Cambrian end-Marjuman extinctions and SPICE Event


A study led by former lab group member Angela Gerhardt on the temporal relationship between a major perturbation to the marine carbon cycle (known as the SPICE) and extinctions that occurred during the late Cambrian has now been published online in the journal Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology. This study was the subject of Angela’s Master thesis.

Angela’s study investigated the stratigraphic relationship between the start of the SPICE and the extinctions in shallow marine communities of the trilobites and brachiopods that occurred around that time. She found that the first phase of the extinctions did not coincide with changes in the carbon cycle. However, the second and final phase of the extinctions coincided with the start of the SPICE, which suggests that the two events are mechanistically linked. Several other studies forward that the SPICE was caused by the spread of anoxia with the oceans. Therefore Angela’s findings suggest that anoxia may have been responsible for the final phase of these extinctions.

Here’s a link to paper:



About BenG

Assistant Professor in the Department of Geosciences at Virginia Tech.
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