PerspectiveGeology

Flood Basalts--Bigger and Badder

Science  07 Jun 2002:
Vol. 296, Issue 5574, pp. 1812-1813
DOI: 10.1126/science.1073209

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Summary

During episodes of flood volcanism, vast amounts of mass and energy are transferred from Earth's interior to the surface within relatively short periods of time. Episodes of major flood volcanism coincided with severe mass extinctions, and perhaps also with large meteor impacts. In his Perspective, Renne discusses recent studies into the causes of these events and the extent of the flood basalt provinces created by them. He highlights the report by Reichow et al., who show that the Siberian Traps are much larger than previously thought, making it the largest (by volume) of all known flood provinces.