Australia: The Land Where Time Began

A biography of the Australian continent 

The Siberian Traps - Magnitude and Consequences of Volatile Release

The flood basalt eruptions of the Siberian Traps have been suggested as a trigger for the mass extinction event that occurred at the close of the Permian. A critical factor in understanding the consequences of volcanic eruptions on the environment is quantitative constraints on the volatile degassing. The authors1 found that the concentrations of sulphur, chlorine and fluorine in melt inclusions from the Siberian Traps indicated that in some magmas these volatiles were anomalously high compared to other continental flood basalts. Volatile concentrations in individual melt inclusions ranged from less than the limit of detection to 0.51 wt.% S, 0.94 wt.% Cl and 1.95 wt.& F. about 6,300-7,800 Gt S about 3,400-8,700 Gt Cl and  about 7,100-13,600 Gt F were released by degassing from the Siberian Traps, based on the results from 10 samples for which the authors1 presented data. The authors1 suggest that if these large volatile loads were released into the atmosphere at the close of the Permian they may have contributed to a drastic deterioration of environmental conditions at that time.


Sources & Further reading

  1. Black, Benjamin A., Linda T. Elkins-Tanton, Michael C. Rowe, and Ingrid Ukstins Peate. "Magnitude and Consequences of Volatile Release from the Siberian Traps." Earth and Planetary Science Letters 317318, no. 0 (2/1/ 2012): 363-73.


Author: M. H. Monroe
Last Updated 26/06/2013
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