Toarcian Oceanic Anoxic Event: Impact on marine carbon cycle and ecosystems


The aim of this IGCP Project (financed by UNESCO and IUGS, 2017-2019) is the characterization and interpretation of the palaeoenvironmental changes related to the biotic crisis occurred during the Early Jurassic, mainly linked to the Toarcian Oceanic Anoxic Event (T-OAE). The approach to this event will be boarded by diverse researchers from multidisciplinary analysis taking into account biotic (microfossils, macroinvertebrates and vertebrate assemblages) and abiotic data (sedimentology, cyclostratigraphy, mineralogy, elemental geochemistry, organic geochemistry and isotopic geochemistry) from the stratigraphic record from many sections over the world. The T-OAE was related to increasing CO2, global warming and sea-level rise and produced an important extinction mainly on marine ecosystems.

This kind of multidisciplinary approach will provide important information for the History of Climatic Changes and will contribute to a better understanding of causes, effects and recovery of climatic changes in the past (that can be applied to current studies). This project will improve the contact and collaboration among scientists working on deciphering the origin of these environmental changes, the impact on marine ecosystems and the recovery after the event.

The analysis of catastrophic events that affected the ecosystems of the past allow us to learn and to establish models for identifying and correcting Present and future environmental changes.

One of the benefits of the IGCP 655 is to facilitate the international collaboration among scientists from industrialized countries and from developing and emerging countries through meetings, field trips, short courses for training on different techniques and workshops. These activities not only facilitate the transfer of geological and geotechnical knowledge to researchers from developing countries but also between different generations (from top scientists to young scientists and PhD students). In addition, the short courses will prepare specialists and potential future leaders on different techniques (geochemistry, micropalaeontology or ichnology among others) on this research topic, which is especially relevant in the case of researchers of emerging countries.