The last glaciation during the late Paleozoic ice age commenced at around the Guadalupian–Lopingian (G–L) boundary and is synchronous with the emplacement of the Emeishan large igneous province. Using CA-TIMS zircon U–Pb dating, we obtained an age of 259.51 ± 0.21 Ma for the uppermost tuff from the Puan volcanic sequence in the eastern Emeishan large igneous province, constraining the timing of Emeishan volcanism and providing another candidate age for the G–L boundary. In addition, we determined an age of 259.69 ± 0.72 Ma for a basal claystone in the immediately overlying Longtan Formation from a drill core section in southwest South China. These ages, along with source weathering trends of mudstones from the lower Longtan Formation, and compiled paleotemperature records, indicate an earliest Wuchiapingian cooling coinciding with the onset of the last Permian glaciation. This global cooling is associated with positive shifts in both organic and carbonate carbon isotopic records and likely a decrease in atmospheric pCO2. A hypothesised causal linkage is proposed in which the rapid post-eruptive basaltic weathering of the Emeishan province in an equatorial humid belt may accelerate the atmospheric CO2 consumption and lead to climate cooling. Our work supports the long-term climate cooling effects of large igneous provinces.
- early Wuchiapingian cooling
- Emeishan large igneous province
- late Paleozoic ice age
- South China
- weathering trends