** Progress in Earth and Planetary Science is the official journal of the Japan Geoscience Union, published in collaboration with its 50 society members.

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    • Progress in Earth and Planetary Science
    • Progress in Earth and Planetary Science
    • Progress in Earth and Planetary Science
    • Progress in Earth and Planetary Science
    Progress in Earth and Planetary Science

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    Enhanced flux of extraterrestrial 3He across the Permian–Triassic boundary

    Onoue T, Takahata N, Miura M, Sato H, Ishikawa A, Soda K, Sano Y, Isozaki Y

    Permian, Triassic, Bedded chert, Mino Belt, Helium, Platinum group element, Interplanetary dust particle, Radiolaria

    The ca 252 Ma Permian–Triassic boundary (PTB) represents the most severe mass extinction event of the Phanerozoic, with the disappearance of ~ 80% of marine invertebrate species. Large-scale eruption of the Siberian Traps is the commonly favored cause, although the link between volcanism and extinction remains debated. Here, we report evidence for an extraterrestrial 3He influx in the PTB section of deep-sea bedded cherts from Japan. This unusual signal indicates a significant increase in the influx of interplanetary dust particles, likely related to an asteroid shower in the inner solar system. High-resolution stratigraphy indicates that the peak flux of dust particles occurred during the final 500 kyr of the Permian, concurrent with a pre-extinction decline in radiolarian diversity.