Editors: Christian Koeberl and Kenneth G. MacLeod
This volume contains the proceedings of the fourth of an informal series of meetings on mass extinctions, global catastrophes, and the geological and biological consequences of large-scale impact events. Previous meetings were held in 1981 and 1988 at Snowbird, Utah, and in 1994 Houston, Texas. The present meeting, held in 2000 in Vienna, Austria, concentrated on if (and how) short-term, high-energy events influence the biological evolution on Earth. Recently, a lot of attention has been focused on the Permian-Triassic extinction, at which about 80% of all species became extinct. The cause for this global catastrophe is currently unknown. Other short-term events (e.g., late Devonian, Triassic-Jurassic, late Eocene) in the stratigraphic record of Earth are now receiving unprecedented attention. The more than 50 papers in the volume discuss the character and causes of mass extinctions and catastrophic events in the history of our planet.