The impact of edge localized modes (ELMs) carrying energies of up to 450 kJ on carbon erosion in the JET inner divertor is assessed by means of time resolved measurements using an in situ quartz microbalance diagnostic. The inner target erosion is strongly nonlinearly dependent on the ELM energy: a single 400 kJ ELM produces the same carbon erosion as ten 150 kJ events. The ELM-induced enhanced erosion is attributed to the presence of codeposited carbon-deuterium layers on the inner divertor target, which are thermally decomposed under the impact of ELMs.