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Name: Emma Blanka Kovács

Emma Blanka Kovács

Contact Details




Title of Project

Deadly kiss of the LIPs: Did Large Igneous Province volcanism cause global carbon cycle change and mass extinction in Earth’s past?

Project details

Throughout Earth history numerous climatic and environmental change events occurred, often resulting in major global carbon cycle perturbations and mass extinctions, both in the marine and the terrestrial realm. Several of these events have temporal correlation with a Large Igneous Province (LIP) volcanism. During the emplacement of millions of cubic kilometres of volcanic rock, a huge amount of greenhouse gasses (e.g. CO2, CH4) and toxic compounds were released into the ocean and the atmosphere.

The project is focused on two of these events, namely the Triassic-Jurassic Mass Extinction (~201.5 Ma) and the Toarcian Oceanic Anoxic Event (~183 Ma), that have been associated with the emplacement of the Central Atlantic Magmatic Province and the Karoo-Ferrar Large Igneous Province, respectively. As major uncertainty exists on the timing and intensity of Early Jurassic LIP volcanism, the released gasses (e.g. CO2, CH4, Hg) and their potential causal role in initiating positive and negative feedback mechanism and associated changes in global climate and the environments, particularly during the Triassic-Jurassic Mass Extinction and the Toarcian Oceanic Anoxic Event. Through the study of different sedimentary archives, analyses of bulk rock and fossil plant material, this project aims to better constrain the pacing of these past environmental change events.

Name of supervisors

Dr Micha Ruhl (Department of Geology)

Prof Jennifer McElwain (Department of Botany)

Postgraduate personal details

January 2020: MSc in Geology at Eötvös Loránd University (Budapest, Hungary) Thesis: Geochemical analysis of the Triassic-Jurassic boundary section at Csővár Supervisor: Prof József Pálfy

July 2017: BSc in Earth Sciences at Eötvös Loránd University (Budapest, Hungary) Thesis: Strontium Isotope Stratigraphy Supervisor: Prof József Pálfy

July 1995: born in Miskolc, Hungary

Project Start Date

March 2020


Provost’s PhD Project Award


Kovács, E. B., Zs. Kovács, J., Pálfy, 2018. Stronciumizotóp-sztratigráfia és alkalmazásai (Strontium isotope stratigraphy and its applications). Földtani Közlöny, v. 148, no. 4. doi

Kovács, E. B., M. Ruhl, A. Demény, I. Fórizs, I. Hegyi, Z. Horváth-Kostka, F. Móricz, Z. Vallner, J. Pálfy, 2020. Mercury anomalies and carbon isotope excursions in a western Tethyan section support the link between CAMP volcanism and the end-Triassic extinction. Global and Planetary Change: 103291.

Somlyay, A., Palcsu, L., Kiss, G.I., Clarkson, M.O., Kovács, E.B., Vallner, Z., Zajzon, N. and Pálfy, J., 2023. Uranium isotope evidence for extensive seafloor anoxia after the end-Triassic mass extinction. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 614: 118190.

Vallner, Z., Kovács, E.B., Haas, J., Móricz, F., Ruhl, M., Zajzon, N. and Pálfy, J., 2023. Preservation of orbital forcing in intraplatform carbonates and an astronomical time frame for a multiproxy record of end-Triassic global change from a western Tethyan section (Csővár, Hungary). Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 617: 111493.