A new study published in the journal Science this Thursday suggests that the comet or asteroid that crashed onto the Earth’s surface 66 million years back hit the planet so aggressively that the event resulted in a massive volcanic eruption in the part of the world where we now have India. This double catastrophe, according to the study, is responsible for wiping out 70% of the species living on our planet at that time including the dinosaurs.
These revelations made by the study present a new theory about the causes of the mass extinction taking place on the Earth at the end of the Cretaceous period.
Since a long time, we have heard scientists confidently saying that a massive object slammed into the Earth creating a gigantic crater at the tip of the Yucatan peninsula in Mexico. They have also been saying that India was experiencing massive volcanism during the same period. The volcanism was resulting in spreading of lava all through the region referred to as the Deccan Trap.
Initially, the concurrence of those two devastating events served hints of casualty. However, later, when scientists came to know about the dating of a formation of Deccan Traps, it was found that the basaltic lava flood started years before the occurrence of the cataclysmic impact.
With these fresh revelations, the casualty is again in play. According to facts put forward by the new paper, the initial eruption was not caused by the comet or asteroid, but there’s a possibility that the comet or asteroid intensified the eruption.
The event was named after Chicxulub, a town in Yucatan, and was called the Chicxulub impact. The Chicxulub impact resulted in earthquakes of excessively high magnitude, 11 to be more precise, in the region surrounding the crater. That’s not all; the scientists conducting this new study informed that other parts of the world also experienced a massive earthquake of magnitude 9 due to the Chicxulub impact.
The crust of the planet became more permeable due to the huge seismic energy. Molten rock from the deep layers of the Earth’s interior started flowing through the fractures. Expansion of the magma resulted in the formation of gaseous bubbles.
Scientists involved in a different study previously noted that the Chicxulub impact increased volcanic activities in our planet and the extinction began within less than around a hundred thousand years of that. Findings of this new study have reduced that window to below 50,000 years.