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What really killed them?

Deccan Traps

August 29, 2016

A new theory suggests that the dinosaurs' fate was sealed by not just one, but two separate disasters around 66 million years ago.

When an enormous asteroid struck the planet 66 million years ago, a worldwide quake shook the magma plumbing of a massive, active volcano — radically changing its style of eruption and hastening the end of the age of dinosaurs.

This sequence of events is supported by a new study published last year in the Geological Society of America Bulletin by a team of scientists, including Drexel University volcanologist Loÿc Vanderkluysen, and led by geologists at UC Berkeley.

Evidence for this colossal, catastrophic chain reaction came from geological features of a massive lava flow field in central-southern India known as the Deccan Traps. Lava erupted in this region for half a million years or more. The event occurred very close, in geologic time, to the major asteroid strike off the coast of Mexico 66 million years ago. In fact, for a time, it was believed that the asteroid strike had triggered the eruption.

Read more in Exel magazine