Geology Department Postgraduate Web Pages
Name: Emma Blanka Kovács
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?
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.
Therefore, the project will address three integrally linked Research Objectives:
(1) To quantify the magnitude of Early Jurassic carbon release and sequestration, and associated changes in the global carbon cycle and atmospheric CO2-concentrations;
(2) To constrain the magnitude and intensity of Large Igneous Province volcanism and the associated release of toxic compounds, and its (casual) link to past, elevated carbon release, climate change and mass extinction;
(3) To astrochronologically quantify the timing and magnitude of changes in Early Jurassic carbon and mercury fluxes into the global ocean-atmosphere system, and the rate of change in atmospheric pCO2.
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
Provost’s PhD Project Award
E. B. Kovács, M. Ruhl, A. Demény, I. Fórizs, I. Hegyi, Z. Horváth-Kostka, F. Móricz, Z. Vallner, J. Pálfy, Mercury anomalies and carbon isotope excursions in a western Tethyan section support the link between CAMP volcanism and the end-Triassic extinction. Glob. Planet. Change. In revision.
E. B. Kovács, Zs. Kovács, J., Pálfy, 2018. Stronciumizotóp-sztratigráfia és alkalmazásai (Strontium isotope stratigraphy and its applications). Földtani Közlöny, v. 148, no. 4. doi