Yet another new research suggests that the dinosaurs were not wiped out from the face of the Earth only by an asteroid, but also by natural disasters such as volcano activity.
The study was published this week in the journal Science. What it suggests is that the demise of the dinosaurs was due to high volcanic activity in Deccan Traps, a region full of mountains from India.
Thew new theory offers a new perspective to the Cretaceous era’s mysterious ending. Until now it was believed that the end of the dinosaurs was the result of a 6 mile large asteroid that crashed into the planet 66 million years ago.
The team of scientists found that a long chain of mountains erupted around the same time the asteroid hit the Earth, spreading lava across what was India’s territory at that time. The dating shows that the lava began spreading before the asteroid impact. The reports showed that the object that hit Earth did not cause all the volcanic eruptions, bur rather it had intensified them.
In combination with the impact, the sulfurous gas and the dust from the volcanoes determined a massive change in the global climate, and all of the sun’s light was blocked. Scientists say that in the moment of the impact, the object may have caused magnitude 11 earthquakes across Mexico and magnitude 9 earthquakes all around the world.
All new evidence is based on volcanic rock dating. With the help of modern day technology, scientists have accurately pinpointed the moment when the volcanoes started erupting.
Based on their analyses, scientists arrived to the conclusion that the volcanic activity that killed the dinosaurs occurred about 50,000 years before the asteroid hit the Earth. But they still remain estimations. One thing is certain though, both phenomena lead to the extinction of the dinosaurs and were clearly at work simultaneously.
Mark Richards, co-author of the researcher and professor at the University of California, believes that the volcanic activity from Deccan Traps was ignited by an earthquake similar in magnitude with the one that hit Japan back in 2011.
Since the dates of the two events are more precise than ever, scientists believe that the likelihood of the theory to be taken seriously is very high.
The impact and the major volcanic activity are just way too close to each other. Whether if it was just a coincidence or causality it does not matter we do not know yet, what is certain is that both phenomena led the dinosaurs to extinction.
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