The geological record shows that abrupt changes in the atmospheric concentration of greenhouse gases have occurred throughout the Earth's history. More than six of these episodes of major climatic and environmental perturbations correlate with the timing of Large Igneous Provinces (LIPs). Furthermore, some of the most severe mass extinctions are temporarily correlated with LIPs (the Central Atlantic Magmatic Province and the Siberian Traps).
It is very likely that there is a causal relationship between l arge volcanic events and global environmental changes, but the exact relationship is one of the major scientific challenges that are still not resolved.
The proposed project is divided into three main research themes: 1) Venting of environmental toxic c ompounds from the Tunguska Basin and the implications for the end-Permian mass extinction, 2) Causal relationships between sill emplacement in the Karoo Basin and the Toarcian climate change, including testing the global extent of the perturbation in the oceanic carbon reservoir, 3) Integrating the fluxes and masses of gases derived from 1 and 2 into state of the art paleoclimate/climate models, and to further evaluate our Svensen et al. (2004) hypothesis.
The proposed project provides a new approach to understanding the relationship between LIPs and global climate changes. For the first time, we also want to evaluate both the effects of volcanic basin formation and lava degassing from a paleoclimate modeling perspective. We may therefore obtain a cleare r picture of the severe environmental stress caused by the LIP formation.