Volcanism, impacts and mass extinctions (Long Version)

TitleVolcanism, impacts and mass extinctions (Long Version)
Publication TypeWeb Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsKeller, G, Armstrong, H, Courtillot, V, Harper, D, Joachimski, M, Kerr, A, MacLeod, N, Napier, W, Palfy, J, Wignall, P
Access Year2012
Access DateNovember
PublisherThe Geological Society
Type of MediumOnline version
Keywordsclimate change, Impacts, Mass extinctions, ocean anoxia, Phanerozoic, Volcanism

The nature and causes of mass extinctions in the geological past have remained topics of intense scientific debate for the past three decades.  Central to this debate is the question of whether one or several large bolide impacts, the eruption of large igneous provinces (LIPS), or a combination of the two were the primary mechanism(s) driving the environmental and habitat changes that are universally regarded as the proximate causes for four of the five major extinction events.  Recent years have seen a revolution in our understanding of both the interplanetary environment and LIPS eruptions and their environmental effects such that the current impact-kill scenario no longer seems adequate for the KT (KPg) or any other mass extinction.  Massive sequential volcanic eruptions and the breakup of giant comets leading to rapid climate change, ocean anoxia and ozone destruction emerge as the leading causes in major mass extinctions.  PDF

Alternate TitleVolcanism, impacts and mass extinctions (long version)