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An extraterrestrial trigger for the mid-Ordovician ice age: dust from the breakup of the L-chondrite parent body
Schmitz, B.; Farley, K.A.; Goderis, S.; Heck, P.R.; Bergström, S.M.; Boschi, S.; Claeys, P.; Debaille, V.; Dronov, A.; van Ginneken, M.; Harper, D.A.T.; Iqbal, F.; Friberg, J.; Liao, S.; Martin, E.; Meier, M.M.M.; Peucker-Ehrenbrink, B.; Soens, B.; Wieler, R.; Terfelt, F. (2019). An extraterrestrial trigger for the mid-Ordovician ice age: dust from the breakup of the L-chondrite parent body. Science Advances 5(9): eaax4184. https://hdl.handle.net/10.1126/sciadv.aax4184
In: Science Advances. AAAS: New York. ISSN 2375-2548
Peer reviewed article  

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Authors  Top 
  • Schmitz, B.
  • Farley, K.A.
  • Goderis, S.
  • Heck, P.R.
  • Bergström, S.M.
  • Boschi, S.
  • Claeys, P.
  • Debaille, V.
  • Dronov, A.
  • van Ginneken, M.
  • Harper, D.A.T.
  • Iqbal, F.
  • Friberg, J.
  • Liao, S.
  • Martin, E.
  • Meier, M.M.M.
  • Peucker-Ehrenbrink, B.
  • Soens, B.
  • Wieler, R.
  • Terfelt, F.

Abstract
    The breakup of the L-chondrite parent body in the asteroid belt 466 million years (Ma) ago still delivers almost a third of all meteorites falling on Earth. Our new extraterrestrial chromite and 3He data for Ordovician sediments show that the breakup took place just at the onset of a major, eustatic sea level fall previously attributed to an Ordovician ice age. Shortly after the breakup, the flux to Earth of the most fine-grained, extraterrestrial material increased by three to four orders of magnitude. In the present stratosphere, extraterrestrial dust represents 1% of all the dust and has no climatic significance. Extraordinary amounts of dust in the entire inner solar system during >2 Ma following the L-chondrite breakup cooled Earth and triggered Ordovician icehouse conditions, sea level fall, and major faunal turnovers related to the Great Ordovician Biodiversification Event.

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