Mass extinctions over the last 500 myr: An astronomical cause?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

A Fourier analysis of the magnitudes and timing of the Phanerozoic mass extinctions (MEs) demonstrates that many of the periodicities claimed in other analyses are not statistically significant. Moreover we show that the periodicities associated with oscillations of the Solar System about the galactic plane are too irregular to give narrow peaks in the Fourier periodograms. This leads us to conclude that, apart from possibly a small number of major events, astronomical causes for MEs can largely be ruled out.

Details

Authors
Organisations
External organisations
  • Lancaster University
  • Lebedev Physical Institute, RAS
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Geology

Keywords

  • Astronomical processes, Mass extinctions, Periodicity, Phanerozoic
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-167
JournalPalaeontology
Volume60
Issue number2
Early online date2017 Jan 13
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Mar
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes