ESR 2 - Response of source-to-sink systems to major step-changes in environmental factors: the case study of the Barents Sea during the Permian-Triassic transition


The Permian-Triassic transition represents the greatest change in climate, life and sedimentary systems ever recorded on Earth. The goal of this project is to understand how source-to-sink systems (eroding uplands and their sedimentary systems in sedimentary basins) are affected by such major step-changes in forcing factors. The Norwegian Barents Sea contains two continuous sedimentary sections covering this critical time interval, located on the Finnmark Platform in the Southern Barents Sea, and on Svalbard. Before the Permian-Triassic transition, spiculitic shales and carbonate platforms with sparse sandstone beds dominated the area. After the PermianTriassic transition, large deltaic sedimentary systems prograded into the basin. The objective of this project is to study these systems in seismic data, core, well-logs, outcrops, petrology and provenance data in order to understand the landscapes, and environmental factors during the deposition in the Late Permian and Early Triassic. Specifically, the ESR will complete the following tasks:

  • use mineralogy, detrital zircon provenance analysis and sediment volumes to investigate catchment area, lithology and weathering types before and after the Permian-Triassic boundary event
  • use sedimentological and paleontological data to understand the environmental conditions in the basin
  • compare conditions before and after the Permian-Triassic boundary event in different parts of the basin.


The goal is to understand why these systems changed during the Permian-Triassic boundary event and to disentangle climatic and tectonic factors.

Expected Results:

  • Understanding of the environmental conditions before and after the Permian-Triassic Boundary event through sedimentological analysis and investigation of seismic data
  • Improved understanding of source areas through analysis of detrital minerals including zircon analysis
  • Characterization of source-area evolution across Permian-Triassic boundary event
  • Deconvolution of tectonic and environmental forcing signals. Important input to and from weathering project (ESR 5, 15).

Impact: Better understanding of large-scale perturbation of large-scale perturbations of source-to-sink systems. An improved understanding of reservoirs in the area is important to the industry sponsors.



  • Volcanic Basin Petroleum Research (B. Bellwald /S. Planke) Seismic data at company (1 month)
  • Université Bourgogne FrancheComté (P. Pellenard and E. Pucéat) -Clay mineral analysis and Nd isotope analysis (3 months)




S2S-FUTURE project gathers an outstanding European research and training network of 15 PhD students, hosted at world-leading academic institutions and industrial companies, whose aim is to develop the S2S paradigm as a powerful vector for understanding sedimentary accumulations as natural resources.

The project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement No 860383.