Scientists have found the cause of the largest eruptions in the history of the Earth

(ORDO NEWS) — Volcanic eruptions have occurred many times in the history of the Earth. Some of them were so powerful that they caused mass extinctions.

Scientists from Trinity College Dublin have identified the cause of such events. According to the study, destructive eruptions began when the movement of continental plates slowed down, reports The Daily Mail.

Scientists conducted a chemical analysis of ancient mudstone deposits from a 1.5-kilometer well in Wales. The results showed that the normal speed of the continents (a few centimeters per year) effectively kept the magma in the bowels of the planet.

But when the movement stopped, the magma from the mantle plumes made its way to the surface and caused large eruptions.

During the study, scientists were able to link two major volcanic events that occurred during the Toarcian period (183 million years ago).

It was characterized by some of the most significant climatic and environmental changes in the entire history of the planet. Scientists noted that it coincided with volcanic activity and, accordingly, greenhouse gas emissions in the southern hemisphere.

The computer model showed that the slowing down of the continental plates was “a key fundamental geological process” responsible for volcanism and the ensuing mass extinction.

Scientists noted that the study allows a better understanding of the processes in modern ecosystems. It is believed that soon the Earth is waiting for a new extinction, already the sixth in a row. Its cause will be greenhouse gases, but associated not with volcanoes, but with human activity.


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