Richard Ernst on Large Igneous Provinces
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At roughly 15-25-million-year intervals since the Archean, huge volumes of lava have spewed onto the Earth’s surface. These form the large igneous provinces, which are called flood basalts when they occur on continents. As Richard Ernst explains in the podcast, the eruption of a large igneous province can initiate the rifting of continents, disrupt the environment enough to cause a mass extinction, and promote mineralization that produces valuable mineral resources. Richard Ernst studies the huge volcanic events called Large Igneous Provinces (LIPs) — their structure, distribution, and origin as well as their connection with mineral, metal, and hydrocarbon resources; supercontinent breakup; and mass extinctions. He has also been studying LIP planetary analogues, especially on Venus and Mars. He has written the definitive textbook on the subject. Ernst is Scientist in Residence in the Department of Earth Sciences, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada, and Professor in the Faculty of Geology and Geography at Tomsk State University, Tomsk, Russia.
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