Dating the Permian-Triassic extinction event in Australia

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The Permian - Triassic (Palaeozoic - Mesozoic) boundary marks the greatest mass extinction in the history of the Earth's biosphere, which is sometimes referred to as Great Dying. Correlation of the Permian - Triassic (P - T) boundary in Australia and Gondwana with global and northern hemisphere marine boundary sequences and the formal GSSP section is limited by the paucity of marine index fossils. Interpretation of non - biostratigraphic proxies for the P - T boundary in Australia is also difficult. In this project, the student (co-supervised by Ian Metcalfe, University of New England, and Bob Nicoll, Geoscience Australia), will perform time calibration of the P - T boundary by U-Pb analysis of zircons from volcanic rocks bracketing the boundary, using the modern high-precision analytical techniques and the methods of zircon treatment that eliminate the influence of inheritance and Pb loss, such as mechanical and chemical abrasion.

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