Scientists have discovered the cause of the largest volcanic eruptions on Earth

(ORDO NEWS) — During the last 600 million years, five mass extinctions have occurred on our planet. Some of them managed to be studied quite well, about others too many questions remained.

Irish scientists conducted a new study and found that each mass extinction was preceded by a certain devastating event.

During the latest study, the staff of Trinity College in Dublin studied ancient deposits of hard rock, or argillite. They got the samples from a well near Wales. They were at a depth of more than one and a half kilometers.

The study of the chemical composition of the samples made it possible to establish that before catastrophic volcanic eruptions occurred on Earth, the continental plates began to move quite unnaturally.

The research was conducted by Misha Rul. He spoke about the fact that many scientists have long assumed that the too strong activity of volcanoes was provoked by the fact that magma began to rise from the depths of the planet. Mantle plumes could also be the reason for this. But the latest results made us doubt this version.

Scientists found that volcanic activity began to increase after the continental plates began to move more slowly.

For example, the standard speed of their movement is several centimeters per year. Before the catastrophic volcanic eruptions that provoked mass extinctions occurred, the tectonic plates slowed down their movement.

Special attention was paid to the study of the Toar period – 180 million years ago. At that time, there were very strong not only climatic, but also ecological changes on the planet.

Experts created a model of the movement of tectonic plates, which demonstrated that the climate changed and the emission of a huge amount of greenhouse gases occurred when volcanic activity increased.

That is why it was concluded that slowing down the movement of tectonic plates can affect the duration of incredibly powerful volcanic activity on our planet.

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