Terrestrial mass extinctions have been attributed to a wide range of causes. Some of them are external to Earth, such as bolide impacts (as widely discussed for the K/T boundary) and radiation events. Among radiation events, there are possible large solar flares, nearby supernovae, gamma-ray bursts (GRBs), and others. These have variable intensity, duration, and probability of occurrence, although some generalizations are possible in understanding their effects (Ejzak et al. 2007). Here we focus on gamma-ray bursts (Thorsett 1995; Scalo and Wheeler 2002), a proposed causal agent for the end-Ordovician extinction. These are the most...

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