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Global warming of the mantle at the origin of flood basalts over supercontinents

N. Coltice, B. R. Phillips, H. Bertrand, Y. Ricard and P. Rey
Global warming of the mantle at the origin of flood basalts over supercontinents
Geology (Boulder) (May 2007) 35 (5): 391-394


Continents episodically cluster together into a supercontinent, eventually breaking up with intense magmatic activity supposedly caused by mantle plumes (Morgan, 1983; Richards et al., 1989; Condie, 2004). The breakup of Pangea, the last supercontinent, was accompanied by the emplacement of the largest known continental flood basalt, the Central Atlantic Magmatic Province, which caused massive extinctions at the Triassic-Jurassic boundary (Marzoli et al., 1999). However, there is little support for a plume origin for this catastrophic event (McHone, 2000). On the basis of convection modeling in an internally heated mantle, this paper shows that continental aggregation promotes large-scale melting without requiring the involvement of plumes. When only internal heat sources in the mantle are considered, the formation of a supercontinent causes the enlargement of flow wavelength and a subcontinental increase in temperature as large as 100 degrees C. This temperature increase may lead to large-scale melting without the involvement of plumes. Our results suggest the existence of two distinct types of continental flood basalts, caused by plume or by mantle global warming.

ISSN: 0091-7613
EISSN: 1943-2682
Serial Title: Geology (Boulder)
Serial Volume: 35
Serial Issue: 5
Title: Global warming of the mantle at the origin of flood basalts over supercontinents
Affiliation: Universite de Lyon, Laboratoire de Sciences de la Terre, Lyons, France
Pages: 391-394
Published: 200705
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States
References: 30
Accession Number: 2007-045047
Categories: Solid-earth geophysicsIgneous and metamorphic petrology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus.
Secondary Affiliation: Los Alamos National Laboratory, USA, United StatesUniversity of Sydney, AUS, Australia
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States. Reference includes data supplied by the Geological Society of America, Boulder, CO, United States
Update Code: 200724
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