Great magma eruptions had two sources

Research at Finnish Museum of Natural History may explain controversies related to great magma eruptions.

Published on 3 April 2018, Photo: Arto Luttinen

The modern continents were formed when Pangaea broke into pieces in the Mesozoic time. The splitting of Africa from Antarctica started with great magma eruptions that flooded over an area millions of square kilometers wide.

Remnants of the ancient ocean of lava, the so-called Karoo magma province, are still widespread in southern Africa and have been also discovered in Antarctica. Dr Arto Luttinen from the Finnish Museum of Natural History, University of Helsinki, has studied the lava formations on both continents with his group.

“This kind of eruptions are culmination events of planetary evolution and have caused mass extinctions of life. Yet their origin remains an outstanding question of Earth history” Luttinen explains.

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