The flow of magma caused the eruption of supervolcanoes: geologists found its prints in the soil

The flow of magma underground caused supervolcanoes to erupt

The gheologists made an amazing discovery that explains the most powerful period of supervolcanic eruptions on our planet. They found traces of the so-called conveyor belt that had been laid by magma. It laid underground and moved to the soil surface for several million years. The magma is responsible for the longest period of supervolcanic eruptions that have ever occurred on the planet.

Shifts on the seabed led to the formation of a magma ribbon. They formed channels that allowed magma to flow freely. The result was massive eruptions that lasted approximately 122 million to 90 million years ago.


The scientists call this fact special in the history of the Earth, since the usual types of such streams last no more than 5 million years. The period of super-eruptions took place on the Kergenel plateau. It is located under the Indian Ocean now. It is called a large igneous province where a huge amount of magma and lava accumulated.

A geologist Qiang Jiang from the Curtin University in Australia believes that such volcanic accumulations are considered as extremely large. The studies are interesting at least because of their massive disappearance associated with climatic disturbances and the formation of ore deposits.

The geologists used samples of black basalt rocks that were raised from the bottom of the sea. They were studied using argon isotope dating and thus the distribution of underground magma was calculated.


Thirty years of constant activity on the plateau led to the fact that it rose by 20 centimeters annually. It was the reason for a gigantic formation, which in its area is three times the size of Japan.

And the outpouring of lava every year was equivalent to 184 thousand Olympic-size pools. On the Kerguelen plateau, the period of super-activity of the volcano was long and stable, it directed magma upward. This historical fact of the planet helped in the study of volcanic activity at the present time. It helps the geologists to know about the systems remain active.

Reference: The research has been published in Geology.