Abstract

The Siberian Traps are one of the largest known continental flood basalt provinces and may be causally related to the end-Permian mass extinction. In some areas, a large fraction of the Siberian Traps volcanic sequence consists of mafic volcaniclastic rocks. Here, we synthesize paleomagnetic, petrographic, and field data to assess the likely origins of these volcaniclastic rocks and their significance for the overall environmental impact of the eruptions. We argue that magma-water interactions, including both lava-water interactions and phreatomagmatic explosions in vents, were important components of Siberian Traps magmatism. Phreatomagmatic episodes may have generated tall water-rich eruption columns, simultaneously promoting removal of highly soluble volcanic gases such as HCl and potentially delivering additional sulfur to the upper atmosphere.

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