A massive extinction event that cleared the way for dinosaurs to spread and diversify at the end of the Triassic period was caused by periods of volcanic eruptions.
That’s the conclusion of new research on a vast field of igneous rock covering four continents, supporting a hypothesis that states global climate change was responsible for the end of three quarters of the world’s species 200 million years ago.
The study led by scientists from Oxford University supported suspicions that a series of volcanic pulses responsible for producing a vast mass of igneous rock called the Central Atlantic Magmatic Province (CAMP) caused widespread climate change in line with a global extinction event.
CAMP is a vast spread of igneous rock that covers about 11 million square kilometres (about 4.2 million square miles), laid down by periods or ‘pulses’ of volcanic activity around 200 million years ago.
The province of rock has long since broken up as tectonic plates have slid over the Earth’s surface, separated out over four continents stretching across both hemispheres.