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Tomsk scientists will define the role of volcanoes in mass extinction 440 million years ago

Researchers from the international laboratory at Tomsk State University (TSU) are launching a new study targeted at finding out the role of volcanoes in biological disaster which took place 440 million years ago when about 85% of species disappeared from the Earth, the press-office of TSU reported. Moreover, the investigation will enable evaluation of metals reservoirs at eruptions areas.
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The scientists from the Laboratory of Geochronology and Geodynamics at TSU will check the connection between magmatic processes and mass extinction of biological species. Using radio-isotope dating, the researchers will «go back» to more than 400 million years ago and evaluate the ecological conditions of that time. This estimation will shed light on whether the largest eruption of ancient volcanoes could lead to a biological disaster which resulted in the disappearance of 85% of species from the face of the globe.

There are five major extinctions of species in the whole history of the Earth. For four of them, the connection with eruptions was already established, while reasons for the extinction which is an object of the new study have not been clarified so far.

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