Deep earthquakes could also rattle magma chambers and lead to more eruptions
A long-running debate about the relative importance of an asteroid impact versus the effects of large-scale vulcanism on an ancient mass extinction event may be moot.
A new study by University of California Berkely geologists suggests that both are related. An asteroid impact on Earth may have accelerated volcanic eruptions some 66 million years ago, and together, the planet-wide catastrophes caused the extinction of many land and marine animals, including the dinosaurs.
The study includes the most accurate dates yet for the volcanic eruptions before and after the impact. The new dates show that the Deccan Traps lava flows, which at the time were erupting at a slower pace, doubled in output within 50,000 years of the asteroid or comet impact that is thought to have initiated the last mass extinction on Earth. Continue reading “Study says asteroid impact may have intensified volcanic activity 66 million years ago, leading to dinosaur extinction”