Phosphorus variations in volcanic sequences reveal the linkage between regional tectonics and terrestrial biota evolution

Chao Ma, Yanjie Tang*, Stephen F. Foley, Chenyang Ye, Jifeng Ying, Xinmiao Zhao, Yan Xiao, Hongfu Zhang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
41 Downloads (Pure)


The Middle‒Late Mesozoic massive volcanism formed a considerable thickness of volcanic-sedimentary strata in western Liaoning, northern China. Concomitantly, it elevated phosphorus (P) availability for the rapid bloom of the terrestrial Yanliao and Jehol biotas, which developed highly abundant biodiversity and biomass. Hence, systematic tectonic and geochemical analyses of these volcanic-sedimentary sequences with a significant P fluctuation would advance our understanding of the coevolutionary relationship between terrestrial biotas and regional tectonics. Here, we show that the secular variation of P availability in the Mesozoic volcanic rocks were the immediate results of the changes in volcanic intensity and lithospheric thickness controlled by the geological background of the cratonic destruction resulting from the paleo-Pacific plate subduction. This study reveals the constraint effect of regional tectonics on the evolution of terrestrial ecosystems through the volcanism and P cycle.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2022GC010536
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalGeochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems
Issue number8
Early online date10 Aug 2022
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2022

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2022. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • crustal thickening
  • lithospheric thinning
  • phosphorus variation
  • plate subduction
  • terrestrial biota
  • volcanism


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