Extensive 200-Million-Year-Old Continental Flood Basalts of the Central Atlantic Magmatic Province

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Science  23 Apr 1999:
Vol. 284, Issue 5414, pp. 616-618
DOI: 10.1126/science.284.5414.616

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The Central Atlantic Magmatic Province (CAMP) is defined by tholeiitic basalts that crop out in once-contiguous parts of North America, Europe, Africa, and South America and is associated with the breakup of Pangea. 40Ar/39Ar and paleomagnetic data indicate that CAMP magmatism extended over an area of 2.5 million square kilometers in north and central Brazil, and the total aerial extent of the magmatism exceeded 7 million square kilometers in a few million years, with peak activity at 200 million years ago. The magmatism coincided closely in time with a major mass extinction at the Triassic-Jurassic boundary.

  • * Present address: Department de Minéralogie, Université de Genève, 13 rue des Maraichers, 1211 Geneva 4, Switzerland.

  • To whom correspondence should be addresssed. E-mail: prenne{at}

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