Major Mass Extinctions are Typically Contemporaneous With Major Flood Basalts

Plot of ages of mass extinctions as a function of ages of flood basalts or oceanic plateaus.

Ages in millions of years before present (Ma) of Large Igneous Provinces (Continental Flood Basalts and Oceanic Plateaus) and both mass extinctions and oceanic anoxic events tend to be contemporaneous within the observational errors. Uncertainties are visible only when they are larger than the diameters of the dots corresponding to individual events. Copied from Figure 1 of Courtillot and Renne (2003).

Last updated 05-Dec-2015    © 2015 Peter L. Ward. All Rights Reserved