Volcanic Eruptions, Not Meteor, May Have Killed The Dinosaurs

New discovery validates theories in Not by Fire but by Ice – 30 Oct 07 – “A series of monumental volcanic eruptions in India may have killed the dinosaurs 65 million years ago, not a meteor impact in the Gulf of Mexico. The eruptions, which created the gigantic Deccan Traps lava beds of India, are now the prime suspect in the most famous and persistent paleontological murder mystery, say scientists who have conducted a slew of new investigations honing down eruption timing.


Rajahmundry Quarry. Keller’s crucial link between the
eruption and the mass extinction comes in the form of
microscopic marine fossils that evolved immediately after
the mass extinction event. The same telltale fossilized
planktonic foraminifera were found at Rajahmundry near
the Bay of Bengal, about 1000 km from the center of the
Deccan Traps near Mumbai. (Photo courtesy Gerta Keller)

“It’s the first time we can directly link the main phase of the Deccan Traps to the mass extinction,” said Princeton University paleontologist Gerta Keller. The main phase of the Deccan eruptions spewed 80 percent of the lava which spread out for hundreds of miles. It is calculated to have released ten times more climate altering gases into the atmosphere than the nearly concurrent Chicxulub meteor impact, according to volcanologist Vincent Courtillot.

Keller’s link between the eruption and the mass extinction comes in the form of microscopic marine fossils that evolved immediately after the mass extinction event. The same telltale fossilized planktonic foraminifera were found at Rajahmundry near the Bay of Bengal, about 1000 kilometers from the center of the Deccan Traps near Mumbai. At Rajahmundry there are two lava “traps” containing four layers of lava each. Between the traps are about nine meters of marine sediments. Those sediments just above the lower trap, the mammoth main phase, contain the incriminating microfossils.

“The microfossils … demonstrate directly that the biggest phase of the eruption ended right when the aftermath of the mass extinction event began.

“The Deccan Traps also provide an answer to a question on which Chicxulub (the supposed meteor site) was silent: Why did it take about 300,000 years for marine species to recover from the extinction event? The solution is in the upper, later Deccan Traps eruptions.

“Keller and her collaborator Thierry Adatte from the University of Neuchatel, Switzerland, are scheduled to present the new findings on Tuesday, 30 October, at the annual meeting of the Geological Society of America in Denver.”

The Deccan Traps, a “volcanic flood,” was about one mile deep and covered an area half the size of Australia.

According to paleontologist Dewey McLean (personal communication), a good portion of the Deccan Traps was  submarine.

Wouldn’t it make sense that thousands of cubic miles – cubic miles! – of lava pouring into the seas  at 2,150 degrees hot might heat the seas just a tad? (Ocean
temperatures at the dinosaur extinction rose by 14° to 22°F.)

The increased evaporation would have sent excess moisture rising into the skies, skies that had already cooled because of the ash from the above-water eruptions. This lead to massive increases in snowfall ,and to an ice age. That’s one of the main points of “Not by Fire but by Ice.”
(See http://www.iceagenow.com/Volcanism_Killed_Dinosaurs.htm )

See entire article in Science Daily
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071029134743.htm
Thanks to Peter Pesola and Jimmy Walter for this link
.