High-resolution Lopingian (Late Permian) timescale of South China



The Lopingian represents the last epoch of the Palaeozoic Era and is bracketed by two severe biotic mass extinctions associated with dramatic environmental changes. The Lopingian Epoch lasted about 7 millions years and was also bracketed by large volcanic eruptions with the Emeishan volcanics at the base and the Siberian traps at the top. Considerable data have accumulated recently and in this paper we attempt to summarize these findings in a high-resolution Lopingian (Late Permian) timescale that integrates currently available multiple biostratigraphic, isotope chemostratigraphic, geochronologic and magnetostratigraphic data. In South China at least 13 conodont zones, multiple polarity zones and large carbon isotope fluctuations in the Lopingian are recognized and provide the high-resolution calibration that is essential to study this Late Permian interval characterized by Earth's largest biotic extinction. We also present a global correlation chart for the marine Lopingian Series. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.