An Opening In Earths Surface That Lava Flows From New Dinosaur Extinction Theory – Blame the Deccan Trappes

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New Dinosaur Extinction Theory – Blame the Deccan Trappes

New Study Points Finger at Deccan Traps for Extinction Event

in 1980, American scientists Luis and Walter Alvarez published their theory regarding an extra-terrestrial body impacting the Earth, ending the age of reptiles. Discovery of the Chicxulub Crater in the Gulf of Mexico, The “Smoking Gun” Evidence from the 1990s gave more credence to this theory put forward by the father and son team.

A recent study of the asteroid belt between Mars and the exoplanets led a group of scientists to discover the fate of the dinosaurs, once again sealed in the Jurassic, when a massive asteroid impact sent a large chunk of space rock on a collision course. with earth.

New evidence from scientific studies

Now another team of American scientists has challenged the asteroid/meteor theory and proposed that a massive volcanic eruption in India wiped out the dinosaurs and about 65% of life on Earth. A new study of massive basaltic lava flows in western and central India – known as the Deccan Traps – suggests that the most violent and destructive eruptions occurred very close to the mass extinction event.

Volcanic activity on this scale would have released massive amounts of carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere, dramatically altering the world’s climate and causing entire ecosystems to collapse.

The Deccan Traps is one of the largest volcanic provinces on the planet. The basaltic lava flows, which originated around 70-65 million years ago, cover an area of ​​more than 500,000 square kilometers, twice the size of the entire United Kingdom. In parts, the basalt is more than 2 kilometers deep. Plate movements and other tectonic factors have split the lava deposits, with some scientists estimating that volcanic activity at the end of the Cretaceous deposited enough lava to cover an area of ​​1,500,000 square kilometers – that would have covered half of India.

For some time it has been accepted that these massive eruptions would have had a devastating effect on Earth’s climate. In addition to the damage caused by the explosions, the smoke and ash clouds were immense and disrupted the weather. Sulfur dioxide pumped into the air would have caused acid rain, and carbon dioxide and other gases, toxic to life, would have caused global warming. This new study by an American team dates the largest volcanic activity just opposite the KT border, and as a result the research team published a paper claiming that it was an eruption and not wiped out by an asteroid impact.

A volcanic eruption

The main period of the eruption is chronologically linked to the estimated date of the beginning of the extinction phase, a period in which geologists estimate that ten times more climate-changing gases were released than during the Chicxulub impact event. So volcanic activity must have done for Earth’s climate, although the massive impact on Earth could not have come at a worse time and added to the ecological chaos. As with other impacts (some scientists believe there were two such impacts, only 300,000 years apart, very close together in geologic time—an actual double whammy.

Earlier dating techniques involved paleomagnetic signatures of crystals formed when the lava cooled. This suggests that the main eruption occurred about 800,000 years ago at the geological boundary between the end of the Mesozoic and the beginning of the Cenozoic. More recent studies measuring the radioactive decay of argon and potassium isotopes in lava deposits have placed the longest period of volcanic activity within 300,000 years of the KT boundary. However, American researchers believe that there is evidence from small marine micro-fossils that prove volcanic activity was the direct cause of the mass extinction.

Responsible for mass extinction events

Scientists are convinced that after a mass extinction event, one of the first signs that an ecosystem is beginning to recover is the establishment of new types of planktonic foraminifera (like the animals that helped form the White Cliffs of Dover). Analysis of deposits in the Bay of Bengal region of the Deccan Traps has shown that marine sediments were deposited on top of basaltic lavas from the most active phase of trap formation. In these marine deposits, evidence of foraminifera micro-fossils has been found, indicating that these marine deposits were laid down shortly after the erosion event. It is therefore logical to conclude that the lava deposits that immediately preceded the marine sediments may have predated the time of the dinosaurs’ demise and the extinction of much of life.

The American team’s paper has already received support from several prominent academics in Europe. It was previously presented at the annual meeting of the Geological Society of Denver, receiving extensive comments and reviews. The intensity of volcanic activity certainly played a role in climate change, but this study of micro-fossils places the worst eruptions right before the mass extinction, as if these eruptions triggered the extinction event.

The American team cites several other studies that support their findings and say their work highlights a discrepancy that proponents of the Chicxulub impact theory have been unable to resolve. Analysis of other sites around the world, including the KT boundary, shows that after thousands of years life on Earth was very slow to recover. Micro-fossils do not enter the fossil record for another 300,000 years after the asteroid/meteorite impact. The fact that the marine environment shows no signs of improvement for about 300,000 years after the impact can be explained by the lava deposits overlying the marine deposits in the Bay of Bengal. These small deposits of lava were laid down after the mass extinction event, but still caused enough disruption to delay the recovery of life on Earth. According to American researchers, the last eruption of the Deccan Trap occurred in the early Paleocene (Danian Faunal Stage), about 280,000 years after the end of the Mesozoic. These eruptions delayed the recovery of life and ecosystems.

Evidence from the fossil record

The fossil record shows that mass extinction events have occurred throughout the history of life on Earth. It is certain that the KT boundary represents a period of dramatic environmental change. The dual effect of the formation of the Deccan Traps and the impact of asteroids may have led to the mass extinction, the death of non-avian dinosaurs, marine reptiles, pterosaurs, some birds, ancient crocodiles and many types of invertebrates. Many factors. Undoubtedly, the contribution of each of these factors to the mass extinction remains in dispute.

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