No link between the Panjal Traps (Kashmir) and the Late Permian mass extinctions



[1] Voluminous Late Permian flood basalt eruptions are contemporaneous with the mid-Capitanian (260 Ma) and end-Permian (251 Ma) mass extinction events. The Panjal Traps of Kashmir are thought to be correlative to the mid-Capitanian mass extinction however no radiometric age has been determined. We report a single zircon U-Pb laser ablation ICP-MS date of a rhyolite from the lower-middle part of the volcanic sequence. Twenty-four individual zircon crystals yield a mean 206U/238Pb age of 289 ± 3 Ma. The results show that the Panjal Traps are considerably older than previously interpreted and not correlative to post-Neo-Tethys rifting of the Gondwanan margin or the mid-Capitanian mass extinction and are, in fact, correlative to the opening of the Neo-Tethys Ocean. In contrast to other similarly size large igneous provinces, the Panjal Traps are not coincident with a mass extinction event and therefore casts doubt on the direct relationship between continental flood basalt volcanism and ecosystem collapse.