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Abiotic Causes of the Great Mass Extinction of Marine Biota at the Triassic–Jurassic Boundary
In the interval of the Triassic–Jurassic boundary up to 80% of marine species became extinct. The main hypotheses on the causes of this mass extinction are reviewed. The extinction was triggered by a power� ful eruption of basalts in the Central Atlantic Magmatic Province. In addition, several impact craters have been found. Extraterrestrial factors resulted in two main sequences of events: terrestrial, leading to strong vol� canism, and extraterrestrial (impact events). They produced similar effects: emissions of harmful chemical compounds and aerosols. Consequences included the greenhouse effect, darkening of the atmosphere (which prevented photosynthesis), stagnation of the oceans, and anoxia. Biological productivity decreased; food chains collapsed. As a result, all vital processes were disturbed, and a large portion of the biota went extinct.