Photo: Antara Photo Agency / Reuters
Scientists at the University of Cincinnati and the Chinese University of Geosciences, found that the largest mass extinction in Earth’s history were caused by volcanic eruptions. About it reported in a press release on Phys.org.
The researchers found in the deposits of the age of 252 million years ago around the world the traces of mercury released into the atmosphere during the combustion of coal, in which there is an accumulation of the metal. With the rain it fell into the seas and oceans, and later in marine deposits. At the same time there is a mass Permian extinction, also known as the great extinction.
The eruption took place on the territory of the Siberian traps — volcanic system, which is characterized by the effusion of a large quantity of molten rock in a short time. Magma moving to the surface through cracks in the earth for thousands of years. Was thrown into the air three million cubic kilometers of ash, and the average temperature on Earth has risen by 10 degrees Celsius.
The result is increased acidity of the seas, which also saw the expansion of dead zones — areas with very low oxygen content. As a result, disappeared 96% of marine species, 73 percent of vertebrate species and 83% of insect species. Scientists estimate that the depletion of biological diversity lasted for 60 thousand years.
Video, photo All from Russia.