Gas fluxes from flood basalt eruptions

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doi: 10.2113/gselements.1.5.283
Authors:Self, Stephen; Thordarson, Thorvaldur; Widdowson, Mike
Author Affiliations:Primary:
Open University, Department of Earth Sciences, Milton Keynes, United Kingdom
University of Hawai'i at Manoa, United States
Volume Title:Large igneous provinces; origin and environmental consequences
Volume Authors:Saunders, Andrew D., editor
Source:Large igneous provinces; origin and environmental consequences, edited by Andrew D. Saunders. Elements, 1(5), p.283-287. Publisher: Mineralogical Society of America and Mineralogical Society of Great Britain and Ireland and Mineralogical Association of Canada and Geochemical Society and Clay Minerals Society, International. ISSN: 1811-5209
Publication Date:2005
Note:In English. 26 refs.; illus.
Summary:Subaerial continental flood basalt volcanism is distinguished from all other volcanic activity by the repeated effusion of huge batches of basaltic magma (∼102-103 km3 per eruption) over short periods of geologic time (<1 Myr). Flood basalt provinces are constructed of thick stacks of extensive pahoehoe-dominated lava flow fields and are the products of hundreds of eruptions. Each huge eruption comes from a dyke-fed fissure tens to hundreds of kilometres long and lasts about a decade or more. Such spatial and temporal patterns of lava production do not occur at any other time in Earth history, and, during eruptions, gas fluxes of ∼1 Gt per year of SO2 and CO2 over periods of a decade or more are possible. Importantly, the atmospheric cooling associated with aerosols generated from the SO2 emissions of just one flood basalt eruption is likely to have been severe and would have persisted for a decade or longer. By contrast, warming due to volcanogenic CO2 released during an eruption is estimated to have been insignificant because the mass of CO2 would have been small compared to that already present in the atmosphere.
Sections:Environmental studies; Geochemistry; Petrology
Subsections:Igneous rocks
Subjects:Acid rain; Aerosols; Atmosphere; Atmospheric precipitation; Basalts; Carbon dioxide; Cenozoic; Columbia River Basalt Group; Degassing; Eruptions; Flood basalts; Fluid inclusions; Gases; Glasses; Global change; Global warming; Igneous rocks; Inclusions; Large igneous provinces; Magmas; Melt inclusions; Middle Miocene; Miocene; Neogene; Paleoatmosphere; Paleoclimatology; Rain; Sulfates; Sulfur; Sulfur dioxide; Tertiary; Volcanic rocks; Volcanism; Volume; Europe; Iceland; Western Europe
Coordinates:N634000 N663000 W0133000 W0244500
N440000 N480000 W1150000 W1250000
Abstract Numbers:06M/55
Record ID:2006049315
Copyright Information:GeoRef, Copyright 2019 American Geosciences Institute.
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