Studies show that slow continental plate movements can lead to major volcanic events

A recent study demonstrated the effect of slow continental plate movements on triggering major volcanic events.

The timing and possible origin of the significant volcanic events that occurred millions of years ago that caused such biological and climatic disturbances were clarified by the scientists in their study. This included driving some of the most catastrophic extinction events in Earth’s history.

Surprisingly, the new research indicates that the crucial event that allowed magma to rise and reach the Earth’s surface and cause catastrophic knockout effects was a slowdown in the movement of the continental plates.

Large igneous provinces (LIPs), or large volcanic eruptions, have occurred throughout Earth’s history. The largest LIPs have dramatically increased atmospheric carbon emissions, warmed the Earth’s climate, caused unprecedented changes to various ecosystems, and led to mass extinctions on land and in the oceans.

ancient clay data

An international group of researchers led by scientists from Trinity College Dublin’s College of Natural Sciences has been able to correlate two important events that occurred about 183 million years ago using chemical data found in ancient mudstone deposits acquired from a 1.5 kilometer deep well in Wales (Toarcian period).

The team found that the occurrence of significant volcanic activity as well as accompanying greenhouse gas emissions in the Southern Hemisphere, in what is now Antarctica, South Africa and Australia, directly coincided with this period, which was marked by some of the most extreme climatic and environmental changes ever.

More research—and more importantly—helped the team identify the underlying geologic process that appears to regulate the timing and onset of this volcanic event and many other events of high magnitude.

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Misha Ruhl, Assistant Professor of Trinity College of Natural Sciences, is a leader Research Team. He said that scientists have long believed that the reason for such volcanic activity is the rise of magma or molten igneous rock from deep within the Earth’s interior where mantle plumes are prevented from penetrating the continental crust through the natural rate of movement of the continental plate. , which is several centimeters per year.

He added that it appears that magma from the mantle plumes can only effectively reach the surface when the rate of movement of the continental plates stops almost to zero, leading to large volcanic eruptions in igneous provinces and associated climate disturbances and mass extinctions.

History analysis

Ruhl also said that it is important that further analysis shows that there is a decrease in Continental plate movement It likely orchestrated the onset and duration of many major volcanic events throughout Earth’s history, making it a key process in regulating the evolution of climate as well as life on the planet’s surface throughout its history.

The team of scientists can distinguish between the different processes that regulate the causes and effects of global carbon cycle change, and if not, constrain the basic Earth system processes that regulate turning points in the Earth’s climate system by reviewing past global change events, such as those in the Toarcian, reports.

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