Wildfire evidence from the Middle and Late Permian Hanxing Coalfield, North China Basin

L. Xiao, Q. Zhao, J. Wang, V. Mishra, S.I. Arbuzov, M. Zhang


Earth has a long geological history and palaeo-wildfire is one of the key factors which is responsible for the evolution and extinction of our earth systems. The most important extinction of our earth systems is the Permian-Triassic mass extinction. The objective of this paper is to evaluate the product of wildfire in terms of distribution and occurrences from the Late Permian North China basin. Fourteen rock samples were collected from a drill core of Hanxing Coalfield of North China basin. The samples were analyzed by macro and micro petrography, Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), Gas Chromatography (GC) and Gas Chromatography–Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS) in order to study the evidence of wildfire. Charcoal (inertinite) particles are observed in the samples, which established the occurrences of wildfire during the upper Middle and Late Permian time in North China. Additionally, high-molecular-weight Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) were detected in the studied samples which also reinforce the presence of palaeo–wildfire events in the North China basin in Late Permian due to the fact that these aromatic compounds were formed under high temperatures.


Wildfire; Sedimentary rock; Permian; North China basin

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.1344/GeologicaActa2020.18.12


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