The widely accepted theory why dinosaurs went extinct around 66 million years ago was that a huge meteor crashed onto the earth causing a massive explosion that wiped out most of the living creatures on the planet. However, there is a theory based on data collected by researchers saying that apart from the meteor hitting the earth, volcanic eruptions might have also contributed to the mass extinction event. Whether they simultaneously occurred or the meteor impact caused the eruptions is still unclear.
The research sheds light on huge lava flows that have erupted periodically over Earth's history, and how they have affected the atmosphere and altered the course of life on the planet.
In the study, University of California, Berkeley, scientists report the most precise and accurate dates yet for the intense volcanic eruptions in India that coincided with the worldwide extinction at the end of the Cretaceous Period, the so-called K-Pg boundary. The million-year sequence of eruptions spewed lava flows for distances of at least 500 kilometers across the Indian continent, creating the so-called Deccan Traps flood basalts that in some places are nearly 2 kilometers thick.
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