Skip to comments.Gas-belching volcanoes may have killed dinosaurs
Posted on 03/20/2008 1:49:58 PM PDT by NormsRevenge
LONDON (Reuters) - Gas-belching volcanoes may be to blame for a series of mass extinctions over the last 545 million years, including that of the dinosaurs, new evidence suggested on Thursday.
A series of eruptions that formed the Deccan Traps in what is now India pumped huge amounts of sulfur into the atmosphere 65 million years ago, with likely devastating repercussions for the Earth's climate, scientists said.
Gigantic eruptions, forming so-called "flood basalts," are one of two leading explanations for a series of mass extinctions that have killed off species periodically throughout history.
The other theory involves asteroid impacts -- generally considered the prime suspect in the case of the extinction of dinosaurs 65 million years ago.
There have been doubts about the killing power of volcanoes because, until now, researchers have struggled to measure just how much toxic gas would have been released.
But after finding rare inclusions of glass in the Deccan rock, a British-based team has found vital preserved information about its original gas content.
Writing in the journal Science, they concluded that the massive of amounts of both sulfur and chlorine released would probably have had a "severe" environmental impact.
"It certainly bolsters the case, though it doesn't prove it," Stephen Self, formerly of Britain's Open University and now senior volcanologist with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, said in an interview.
"There have been several major mass extinctions and most of those have, uncannily, occurred while one of these huge flood basalt provinces was being formed."
The volcanoes may have spewed 10 times as much sulfur into the atmosphere every year as humans have done recently by burning coal in power stations and through other industrial activities.
The result would have been widespread acid rain and aerosols of sulfuric acid in atmosphere, cooling the surface of the Earth and upsetting normal patterns of circulation.
A photo of 500-meter-high stack of Deccan lava flows in the
Mahabaleshwar area of India. (Science/Handout/Reuters)
How about astroid strikes that caused massive volcanic activity?
Frankly, I think that they all started to believe that they were giving off too much methane, creating global warming, and decided to commit mass suicide to save the planet.
I would think that would be a very good possibility... depending where it hit..
Doesn’t really matter.
Every stage of development of the Earth, from the oxygenation by algae, the era of the conifers, the era of the dinosaurs, etc,
all were for the _purpose_ of making a habital planet for human beings to thrive on and to discover the wonders of God’s universe from.
It is interesting to see how these things unfolded, though.
What's next global flatulation
Where can I buy flood basalt insurance?
—— Mr. “T” Rex
This is exactly why people should be ticketed for flatulence— it’s just too dangerous.
India was once an island. Would the volcanic activity have coincided with the landmass colliding with Asia?
I’ve got a better solution. Make countries that have volcanos buy carbon credits from algore’s company.
“Aye aye yi! Belchos giganticos!” Tyrannosaurus Mex
‘Meteors, volcanoes and floods. Oh, my.’
I’d say, “sure” but, I’m not THAT old.
Or it was just blind luck. LOL!
You paint a lovely picture.
I don’t know in that instance how much of a penetration into the crust much less the outer or inner mantle occurred,, but it would sure seem like stuff would come popping up and out of that general vicinity.
Thanks NormsRevenge! I think there was a recent topic about this, but this bogus explanation goes back at least as far as Dewey M., when Luis Alvarez was still around.
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The Yucatan impact was 112 miles wide and 3000 ft. deep but, that event happened 330,000 yrs before the extinction of the Dinos. It’s likely a later impact effected their extinction according to National Geographic. I’m still going with the multiple cause theory.
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