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An extremely brief end Ordovician mass extinction linked to abrupt onset of glaciation

Ling, Ming-Xing; Zhan, Ren-Bin; Wang, Guang-Xu; Wang, Yi; Amelin, Yuri; Tang, Peng; Liu, Jian-Bo; Jin, Jisuo; Huang, Bing; Wu, Rong-Chang; Xue, Shuo; Fu, Bin; Bennett, Vickie C.; Wei, Xin; Luan, Xiao-Cong; Finnegan, Seth; Harper, David A.T.; Rong, Jia-Yu

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Ming-Xing Ling

Ren-Bin Zhan

Guang-Xu Wang

Yi Wang

Yuri Amelin

Peng Tang

Jian-Bo Liu

Jisuo Jin

Bing Huang

Rong-Chang Wu

Shuo Xue

Bin Fu

Vickie C. Bennett

Xin Wei

Xiao-Cong Luan

Seth Finnegan

David A.T. Harper

Jia-Yu Rong


The end Ordovician mass extinction (EOME) was the second most severe biotic crisis in Phanerozoic, and has been widely linked to a major glaciation. However, robust geochronology of this interval is still lacking. Here we present four successive high-precision zircon U–Pb dates by isotope dilution thermal ionization mass spectrometry (ID-TIMS) for biostratigraphically well-constrained K-bentonites of a continuous Ordovician-Silurian boundary section at Wanhe, SW China. They include 444.65 ± 0.22 Ma (middle Dicellograptus complexus Biozone), 444.06 ± 0.20 Ma (lower Paraorthograptus pacificus Biozone), 443.81 ± 0.24 Ma (upper Tangyagraptus typicus Subzone), and 442.99 ± 0.17 Ma (upper Metabolograptus extraordinarius Biozone). Calculations based on sedimentation rates suggest a duration of 0.47 ± 0.34 Ma for the Hirnantian Stage, which is much shorter than previously thought (1.4 ± 2.05 Ma in the International Chronostratigraphic Chart ver. 2019/05). The new data also constrain the Hirnantian glacial maximum to ∼0.2 Ma, supporting that its brevity and intensity probably triggered the EOME.


Ling, M., Zhan, R., Wang, G., Wang, Y., Amelin, Y., Tang, P., …Rong, J. (2019). An extremely brief end Ordovician mass extinction linked to abrupt onset of glaciation. Solid earth sciences, 4(4), 190-198.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 10, 2019
Online Publication Date Dec 9, 2019
Publication Date Dec 31, 2019
Deposit Date Dec 12, 2019
Publicly Available Date Jan 9, 2020
Journal Solid Earth Sciences.
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 4
Issue 4
Pages 190-198


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Copyright Statement
Copyright © 2019, Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry. Production and hosting by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CCBY-NC-ND license (

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