In 2019, the EGU SSP blog reported from a workshop exploring Paleozoic dust.
By now, the Deep Dust initiative is supported by the International Continental Scientific Drilling program, which is an important step. It is planned to drill in the US in a first project phase.
The Deep Dust Drilling Project (DEEP DUST) is focused on understanding paleoclimatic conditions, biospheric responses and climate forcings at low latitudes throughout the Permian (299-252 Ma). This time interval experienced major tectonic changes linked with the assembly of the Pangaea supercontinent, including the formation and weathering of the Central Equatorial Pangaean Mountains, and widespread volcanic activity (Soreghan et al., 2020). Moreover, Earth’s penultimate global icehouse peaked in the earliest Permian, collapsed soon thereafter, and transitioned to greenhouse conditions by the late Permian, ultimately culminating in Earth’s largest-known extinction. This interval captures Earth’s only example of icehouse termination under conditions of a complex terrestrial biosphere. The climatic, biotic, and tectonic events of the Permian are amongst the most intense in Earth history.
The DEEP DUST project seeks to illuminate the evolution of Earth’s environmental conditions and biosphere through the whole Permian, especially in the tropics. We hope to obtain sediments allowing analysis of temporal scales ranging from sub-millennial to Milankovitch and beyond by acquiring cores in continental lowlands preserving stratigraphically complete records dominated by both loess and lacustrine strata. A first drilling target is located in the U.S. (Anadarko Basin, Oklahoma), representing the western Pangaean tropics, perhaps the highest-resolution continental Permian section (Fig. 1).
Soreghan G.S., Beccaletto L., Benison K.C., Bourquin S., Hamamura N., Hamilton M., Heavens N.G., Hinnov L., Huttenlocker A., Looy C., Pfeifer L.S., Pochat S., Sardar Abadi M., Zambito J. (2020) Report on ICDP Deep Dust workshops: Probing Continental Climate of the Late Paleozoic Icehouse-Greenhouse Transition and Beyond. Scientific Drilling., 28, 93–112, https://doi.org/10.5194/sd-28-93-2020