The first time such a coincidence was observed, at the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary, was the catastrophic event thought to be responsible for the extinction of the dinosaurs, 65 million years ago.
This new event, uncovered after the 17 km diameter Logoisk impact structure in Belarus was precisely dated, is thought to have taken place around 30 million years ago. The crater was dated using argon isotopes, and found to have occurred at a similar time to a period of massive volcanism known as the Afro-Arabian flood volcanism, which started in NW Yemen at around 30.9 Mya, and SW Yemen at around 29.0 Mya.
The impact also coincides broadly with a period of sudden global cooling and sea level fluctuation. The researchers, led by Sarah Sherlock at the Open University, argue that massive volcanic eruptions and meteorite impacts are likely to have coincided much more frequently than has previously been thought, but because the preservation of impact craters on Earth is poor much of the evidence for these coincidences is lost.
The relationships between meteorite impact craters, volcanism and changes in climate is a subject of much debate among scientists. Prior to the study, only one example of an impact coinciding with volcanism had been found: the Chicxulub and Boltysh impacts and the Deccan Traps flood volcanism, all of which occurred at the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary. In 2002, the discovery of their coincidence with a global mass extinction led to debate over the causative links between meteorite impacts, volcanism and mass extinction events, and fuelled the search for more impacts at stratigraphic boundaries.
Unlike the Cretaceous-Tertiary event, the combination of the Logoisk impact and the Afro-Arabain flood volcanism does not seem to have caused an extinction event. The researchers suggest that the reason for this may be that the magnitude of the event was not sufficiently large in comparison. Whilst the Chicxulub crater associated with the extinction of the dinosaurs measures 170km in diameter and the Deccan Traps released around (2-4) x106 km3 of lava, in comparison the Logoisk impact structure measures 17km across and the Afro-Arabian flood volcanism is around 1.2 x106 km3 in volume.
As a result, the effects of each event were likely to have been very different. At the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary, it is thought that one of the deadly effects was the release of sulphur dioxide, either as acid rain or in the stratosphere, where it would have prevented heat from reaching the earth and caused massive global cooling. Around 8000 billion tons of SO2 are thought to have been released by the volcanism and meteorite impact. In comparison, the Logoisk impact and the Afro-Arabian volcanism are thought to have contributed only 30 billion tons of SO2.
Meteorite impact craters are extremely difficult to date, but an understanding of their age and frequency is crucial to attempts to control the number of future impacts, as well as understanding the links between impacts and other catastrophic events such as large volcanic eruptions and mass extinctions.
Around 90% of the Earth’s record of meteorite impacts is lost, and the researchers argue that coincidences between impacts and flood volcanism are far from rare. They suggest that, for every incidence of flood volcanism, at least one crater the size of Logoisk is likely to form, although few such coincidences are likely to be on a scale grand enough to bring about an extinction event comparable with that which destroyed the dinosaurs.
Sarah Day | alfa
Novel method for investigating pore geometry in rocks
18.06.2018 | Kyushu University, I2CNER
Decades of satellite monitoring reveal Antarctic ice loss
14.06.2018 | University of Maryland
In a recent publication in the renowned journal Optica, scientists of Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology (Leibniz IPHT) in Jena showed that they can accurately control the optical properties of liquid-core fiber lasers and therefore their spectral band width by temperature and pressure tuning.
Already last year, the researchers provided experimental proof of a new dynamic of hybrid solitons– temporally and spectrally stationary light waves resulting...
Scientists from the University of Freiburg and the University of Basel identified a master regulator for bone regeneration. Prasad Shastri, Professor of...
Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.
Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...
The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.
Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.
An international team of scientists has discovered a new way to transfer image information through multimodal fibers with almost no distortion - even if the fiber is bent. The results of the study, to which scientist from the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena (Leibniz IPHT) contributed, were published on 6thJune in the highly-cited journal Physical Review Letters.
Endoscopes allow doctors to see into a patient’s body like through a keyhole. Typically, the images are transmitted via a bundle of several hundreds of optical...
13.06.2018 | Event News
08.06.2018 | Event News
05.06.2018 | Event News
20.06.2018 | Materials Sciences
20.06.2018 | Materials Sciences
20.06.2018 | Materials Sciences