Since the late 80s/early 90s, the accepted narrative of the dinosaurs’ demise is that a massive asteroid hit the Earth, drastically changing the climate and making it inhospitable to life.
Alongside that theory, (of which parts are complete indisputable, such as the asteroid strike), there has been a subset of scientists who believe it wasn’t the asteroid that did the dinos in, but rather massive volcanic activity that fucked up the Earth and everything on it.
Now, some think it’s possible to marry those two theories, creating a complete story of the Earth during the late Cretaceous period. These scientists believe that the asteroid was so massive, it set the magma in the Earth moving, like slapping a water bed, which accelerated a volcano erupting in India.
Boom Shaka Science. From The Washington Post:
New research suggests that the asteroid or comet that slammed into the Earth 66 million years ago rocked the planet so violently that it accelerated a massive volcanic eruption in India, a double catastrophe that wiped out the dinosaurs and 70 percent of the Earth’s species.
The Chicxulub impact – named after a town in the Yucatan – created earthquakes of magnitude 11 in the vicinity of the crater, the authors say. Magnitude 9 earthquakes would have been felt around the planet, they say.
The seismic energy made the planet’s crust more permeable. Molten rock deep in the interior began flowing through fractures. As that magma expanded, gasses in the solution began forming bubbles. As with a shaken soda bottle, the results were likely explosive.
“Once that’s initiated, it becomes a kind of runaway process,” said Paul Renne, a University of California, Berkeley geologist and lead author of the new paper.
The eruption in India was massive, covering 200,000 square miles in igneous rock more than a mile thick. That’s an area almost a big as Texas. Talk about messing with the planet. But how else could it have done that, if not for a gigantic kick?