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Catastrophic and unusual events on Earth such as bolide impacts, megafloods, supereruptions, flood volcanism, and subice volcanism may have devastating effects when they occur. Although these processes have unique characteristics and form distinctive features and deposits, we have difficulties identifying them and measuring the magnitude of their effects. Our difficulties with interpreting these processes and identifying their consequences are understandable considering their infrequency on Earth, combined with the low preservation potential of their deposits in the terrestrial rock record. Although we know these events do happen, they are infrequent enough that the deposits are poorly preserved on the geologically active...

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