Dinosaur-Killing Asteroid Also Triggered Magma Releases (Study)

Asteroid crashing into Earth

According to a study which the journal Science Advances recently published, the asteroid that hit the Earth about 66 million years ago and that also brought the doom of dinosaurs might have also triggered huge magma releases beneath the ocean. This new discovery only provides more proof that the extinction event we all know about was not only deadly, but very complex too. For entire years, experts believed that this asteroid that crashed into our planet was responsible for the extinction of dinosaurs and every other species living on Earth at the time.

They called it the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction event. Scientists also think that the impact left behind the 110-mile-wide crater called Chicxulub in the Gulf of Mexico. Apart from this, that the impact probably vaporized everything around and released clouds of debris into the air, blocking out the light and warmth from the sun. However, some experts think that something else might have killed the dinosaurs: the Deccan Traps in present-day India. Some experts think that the gases and the ash that they were releasing actually made life impossible for those giant beasts.

The mystery surrounding the extinction of dinosaurs

According to senior author Leif Karlstrom, experts still cannot agree over which one of these was the driver of the changes in the environment that killed the dinosaurs. Some ideas seem to suggest that maybe the two events were linked. Perhaps the asteroid also triggered the volcanism at Deccan Trap. However, recent research seems to indicate that the volcanic activity there actually started long before the asteroid made its presence known. About a quarter-million years before.

But lead author Joseph Byrnes had an idea. The effects of an asteroid impact should have shown up in the volcanism along the planet’s mid-ocean ridges. So, the team began working and analyzing. They found out that the seismic waves the impact produced triggered the release of some magma reservoirs beneath the surface. This might have also happened in the case of the Deccan Traps.

Image source: wikimedia

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