Magnetic dating

So far, there have been five main mass extinction events globally.The biggest, the end-Permian, about 252 million years ago, was the Earth’s largest ecological disaster.The Elliot Formation contains many fossils that shed light on the existence and evolution of dinosaurs in southern Africa.This is especially interesting as the Formation is thought to span the end-Triassic mass extinction event.The Karoo Basin also holds evidence of the third largest mass extinction.

The method is based on the fact that boulders that are transported and rotated by a flood slowly become re-magnetized as the time passes post-flood.

View the full list Covering two thirds of South Africa the Karoo Basin, visually, is a beautiful space.

When looking more deeply into its rock layers, like leafing through the pages of a book, one can read about a wealth of palaeoevinromental and biological processes.

However, the age of the Elliot Formation and where this extinction event occurred within its rock layers was debated.

As there are no radiometric dates from zircons for the Elliot Formation, we used the Earth’s ancient geomagnetic field as a dating tool.

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