Oz's volcanic eruptions caused first mass extinction 510m yrs ago

Jun 01, 2014, 11:03 IST | Agencies

Australia: A Curtin University researcher has revealed that Australia’s eruptions, which occurred over 510 million years ago, were the significant reason behind the climate change that caused history’s first known mass extinction.

Fred Jourdan from  Department of Applied Geology used the radioactive dating techniques to measure the age of the eruptions of the Kalkarindji volcanic province where lavas covered an area of more than two million square.

Jourdan said that they were able to demonstrate that the Kalkarindji volcanic province was emplaced at the exact same time as the Cambrian extinction.

They were able to measure a depletion of sulphur dioxide from the volcanic rocks, which indicates sulphur was released into the atmosphere during the eruptions. The study was published in the journal Geology.

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