Saturday, October 03, 2015

Antipodal Volcanism and the K-T Extinction Event

In considering the extinction of the dinosaurs and related reptilian fauna, I found it interesting that the volcanic eruptions identified as the Deccan Traps marking the Indian peninsula are close to the antipode of the Chicxulub impact—the impact that is accused of initiating a cataclysmic cascade culminating in this extinction event, dubbed the K-T Extinction. Since the Deccan Traps and the Chicxulub crater are dated to approximately the same time period, I often wondered if the Deccan volcanic eruptions were the result of antipodal volcanism, that is, the result of the shockwaves of the Chicxulub impact traveling though the earth's mantle to the other side of the world.

Recently, this hunch has found more scientific support, namely that the Chicxulub impact at the very least greatly accelerated the Deccan eruptions already in progress, or at the most may have initiated them.

This antipodal relationship demonstrates that the continents have been moving and supplies us with a snapshot of where North America and India were at the K-T Extinction Event.

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