Flood basalts and mass extinctions
- Morgan, W. Jason
- JAN 1, 1988.
- Physical Description:
- 1 electronic document
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- There appears to be a correlation between the times of flood basalts and mass-extinction events. There is a correlation of flood basalts and hotspot tracks--flood basalts appear to mark the beginning of a new hotspot. Perhaps there is an initial instability in the mantle that bursts forth as a flood basalt but then becomes a steady trickle that persists for many tens of millions of years. Suppose that flood basalts and not impacts cause the environmental changes that lead to mass-extinctions. This is a very testable hypothesis: it predicts that the ages of the flows should agree exactly with the times of extinctions. The Deccan and K-T ages agree with this hypothesis; An iridium anomaly at extinction boundaries apparently can be explained by a scaled-up eruption of the Hawaiian type; the occurrence of shocked-quartz is more of a problem. However if the flood basalts are all well dated and their ages indeed agree with extinction times, then surely some mechanism to appropriately produce shocked-quartz will be found.
- NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS) Collection.
- Document ID: 19890011989., Accession ID: 89N21360., and Lunar and Planetary Inst., Global Catastrophes in Earth History: An Interdisciplinary Conference on Impacts, Volcanism, and Mass Mortality; p 126.
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