After discovering milestone evidence of asteroid strikes and craters on the earth in the 1980s and 1990s, several archeological experts concluded that the mass extinction event which resulted in the disappearance of dinosaurs from the earth might be the aftermath of an asteroid impact. However, a new study report published in journal Science on Thursday indicates that the extinction event may be the result of a volcanic eruption.
Researchers who took part in this study made this conclusion after analyzing India's Deccan Traps, one of the largest volcanic features on the earth. Researchers also compared the timeline of Deccan Traps' volcanic eruptions with the Chicxulub asteroid impact on Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula.
During the study, researchers found that the volcanic deposits in Deccan Traps are more than one mile thick in many areas and during these eruptions, lava flowed in directions more than 300 miles away.
The research led by Blair Schoene, associate professor of geosciences at Princeton University's Environmental Institute found that the Deccan Traps erupted in four 100,000-year events, and each of these eruptions released a significant amount of magma and greenhouse gases. Ancient volcanic eruptions also played a crucial role in triggering climate change, and it might have drastically impacted the habitat of several living beings.
Further research on the timeline also revealed that these volcanic eruptions began years before the asteroid impact. This finding suggests that the mass extinction event might be the result of volcanic eruption, and the event might have triggered much before the asteroid impact.
In contradiction with the previous finding, another research conducted by the University of Liverpool scientist Courtney Sprain and her colleagues found that more than 75 percent of the Deccan lava erupted about 600,000 years after the extinction event. This discovery made the scientists believe that the asteroid impact might have increased the volcanic activity on the planet.
As the two study reports have now surfaced online, experts have started claiming that the mass extinction event might be the result of either a volcanic eruption or asteroid or sometimes both.