The Permo-Triassic climate crisis caused the most catastrophic extinction of marine life, with an estimated species loss of 81-95% . Several environmental changes have been hypothesised as extinction drivers, but their direct role in extinction is heavily debated, and the link to the fossil record has not been robustly demonstrated. This project aims to assess the response of the microfossil community to the Permo-Triassic climate crisis in high latitudes by collecting geological and spatial data in Svalbard. Since previous research focused on the Permo-Triassic microfossils in Svalbard is restricted to the material collected during the Polish expeditions between 1974-1976 . This project aims to sample some of the Permian/Triassic sections (Selmaneset, Reinodden and Treskelen) in high-resolution to fill this geological and paleontological gap in knowledge. This new database will provide quantitative information, give insights into the high-latitude community changes across the Permian/Triassic boundary and allow comparison with lower-latitude datasets to investigate the changes in the microfossil community across the extinction. Furthermore, this project will supplement the parent project “Quantifying the collapse of shallow marine communities across the Permian/Triassic boundary (CREME)” (RiS ID 11932) and acquired samples for ongoing projects to investigate redox changes (RiS 12063) and prokaryote ecosystems (RiS 12064).
Additionally, we will build digital outcrop models of the sections based on drone images acquired during the field campaign. These new digital outcrop models will provide access to the protected and most isolated areas at a low environmental and economic cost. All the information collected from the sites, including descriptions, stratigraphic logs, detailed pictures and outcrop models, will be accessible through the Svalbox database for follow-up projects.