The cause of the largest extinction on Earth was found in Russia

Причину крупнейшего вымирания на Земле нашли в России

Large-scale magmatic eruption near the river Tunguska led to the release of huge quantities of greenhouse gases.

In Russia, the banks of the river Tunguska, scientists from the USA found deposits of volcanic rocks, whose landfall launched the Great Permian extinction of animals, according to the article in the journal Nature Communications.

“The heat that stood out during these lavas on land, has led to the fact that neighboring sedimentary rocks dumped huge amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. This event has become a key point in the history of the evolution of life on Earth 252 million years ago,” said geologist James Muirhead from the University of Syracuse.

Scholars in the history of life on Earth, five major mass extinctions of species. The most significant is considered to be the Permian extinction, when they disappeared more than 95 percent of all living entities.

There is evidence that at this time in the atmosphere and oceans were emitted large quantities of carbon dioxide and methane, which dramatically changed the climate and made the Earth very hot and dry.

Collecting new samples of igneous rocks, scientists have found that 252 million years ago there was not one, but two different magmatic eruption.

First, a larger scale, led to the exit about 60 percent of igneous rocks on the surface, but it has not led to the extinction of animals and caused no visible effects.

The second, less visible eruption that occurred approximately 251,9 million years ago, was less obvious in appearance, but much more life-threatening. It is the outpouring of magma “warmed up” a large layer of sedimentary rocks, lying near the surface, which led to the release of huge quantities of CO2, methane and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

The reason for this, as they say scientists, was that these lava flows did not immediately reach the surface of the Earth, and is initially moving parallel to it, through the cracks between the layers of sedimentary and volcanic rocks.

In the result, there was a shallow but very large underground “lake” of lava, whose area was about 50 times more than the modern lake Baikal. It fueled extensive reserves of chalk, coal, oil and other sediments and caused them to decompose.

Such a mechanism of occurrence of the Permian extinction, as noted by Muirhead and his colleagues suggests that the effects of massive volcanic eruptions, which today binds and other mass extinctions, could greatly depend on what breed passed their emissions.

Last year, scientists reported that the reason for the first mass extinction on Earth was a series of rapid revolutions of the magnetic axis of the Earth that stripped the planet’s ozone layer.


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According to the materials:

RIA Novosti