A satellite image of the southern tip of Africa-taken in Oct. December 31, 2004, by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite. The Karoo rock county, and partly in the netherlands and Mozambique (upper right corner) indicates that a magma plume poked a hole through the Earth for 180 million years ago, when the whole area was part of the supercontinent known as Pangea. (Credit: Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC)
About 180 million years ago, when the dinosaurs still roamed the world, and a huge plume of molten rock that may have slammed its way through the Earth, knocking the world on one side, and the burning of everything in its path.
This is the secret that is lurking in the set of a strange stone from Italy. The new findings may settle a long debate about what the cause is of the ancient volcanic disaster. .
There are scars on the planet from the huge, deadly volcanic eruptions, like those of the Jura period of the disaster. A lot of these epic eruptions may have been responsible for the mass extinction of hundreds of millions of years ago. However, geologists could not agree on the causes of the disaster; the scientists have proposed that there are two possible explanations, but so far, neither one has been proven.
One possibility is that the tectonic plates were just ripped apart: the continent drifted north, the other south. The slit opened between them, and burbled as a great stream of lava that scorched the land.
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The other possibility is that leo is the root cause of the whole disaster: A plume of magma rising from deep in the bowels of the planet, and burst through to the surface.
The first results of these Mozambique stones, supports the second theory, according to a new paper, to be published in the December issue of the journal lithos.
The stone was found in a region formed by the old lava-stream, which is then rolled on to the present, Africa and the arctic, back when both land masses were part of the supercontinent Pangea. It’s called the Karoo rock in the province. A lot of the rocks in the area formed by the Jura mountains, the eruption, the researchers said. But this stone, which is also known as the Luenha picrites, and is, perhaps, the first that has been discovered, which are derived from the movement of the shuttlecock itself.
The chemical analyses of the picrites found the signatures to the low levels of titanium dioxide, for example), which suggests that they are not affected by the elements in the earth’s crust, the researchers wrote. That is, it suggests that they come from deeper in the earth, in the mantle, where the plumes are coming from.
However, not all of the volcanic rock in this region of the earth’s crust, in my opinion.”It is important to keep in mind is that in a large and complex volcanic systems, such as the klein Karoo, in the province of large volumes of magmas can be produced by variety of magma sources,” Daúd Jamal, a scientist at the Eduardo Mondlane University in Mozambique, and is co-author of the paper, said in a statement.
So, even if you have a plume, this eruption, most of the magma would have come from the vicinity of the surface, the researchers wrote. And that makes all the stones are formed in the plume is a rare and valuable find.
“To our knowledge, the Luenha picrites have been the first of the lava samples, which can be derived from the plume source,” said Sanni Turunen, lead author and a doctoral candidate at the University of Helsinki, finland.
Much more research is needed, they wrote, until someone is able to confirm that the picrites formed part of a magma plume, the researchers wrote. But it is the beginning of the analysis, it is exciting and a reason to return for more.
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Originally published on Live Science.