Field Evidence for Coal Combustion Links the 252 Ma Siberian Traps with Global Carbon Disruption: COMMENT

Vladimir I. Davydov, Boise State University
Eugeny V. Karasev, Kazan Federal University
Veronika V. Zharinova, Kazan Federal University


Elkins-Tanton et al. (2020) assert that they found the first direct evidence that the earliest eruptions in the southern part of the Tunguska magmatic province (Russia) burned large volumes of vegetation and coal. They suggest that the volume and composition of organic matter interacting with magmas may explain the global carbon isotope signal of the global warming that may have significantly driven the end-Permian extinction. While attractive, we argue that this hypothesis suffers several shortcomings. Furthermore, Elkins-Tanton et al.’s results need validation and testing with a precise temporal chronology between the global δ13Сorg spike and the organic carbon data from the Permian and Triassic in the Tunguska Basin (TB). Perhaps most troubling is that the authors’ study was done without considering the details of the local and regional geology, and this has led to mistakes, misinterpretations, and misrepresentations. How the Elkins-Tanton et al. data have been linked to global δ13Сorg content is unclear