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64.7 MB (1.5 MB compressed)
5362 x 4215 pixels
45.5 x 35.8 cm ⏐ 17.9 x 14.1 in (300dpi)
MARK GARLICK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MARK GARLICK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Illustration of the Earth's interior, showing the mechanism thought to form so-called Large Igneous Provinces (LIPs). A LIP is an extremely large accumulation of igneous rocks, including intrusive and extrusive. A burst of oxygen from the deep mantle, predicted from the transport of oxygen-rich reservoirs near the core-mantle boundary, provides a novel mechanism for the formation of LIPs, and suggests Earth’s interior oxygen cycle is the reason for the observed contemporary nature of LIP formation and Great Oxygenation Events at Earth’s surface ~2.5–2.0 and ~0.7–0.5 billion years ago. The formation of some of the LIPs over the past 500 million years coincide with certain mass extinctions and rapid climate changes, which has led to numerous hypotheses about the causal relationships. LIPs are fundamentally different from any other currently active volcanoes or volcanic systems.
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