How volcanic eruptions may have helped birth life on Earth

Volcanic eruptions are not only being studied for the effects they can have on a developing world, but scientists are also looking into why volcanic eruptions may have been key in planet Earth’s evolution,…

How volcanic eruptions may have helped birth life on Earth

Volcanic eruptions are not only being studied for the effects they can have on a developing world, but scientists are also looking into why volcanic eruptions may have been key in planet Earth’s evolution, as well.

Volcanic materials, including ash, were powerful pieces of the the building blocks of what to be a future planet.

During the Cretaceous period about 145 million years ago, volcanoes unleashed massive amounts of material from Tonto Hill, being some of the most active of all volcanoes at the time.

According to Time Magazine, Tonto Hill erupted nearly every summer at 2,800 to 3,400 feet per second, spewing tons of magma.

This volcanic activity powered the rise of herbivores, including large-bodied dinosaurs, in what would become the late Cretaceous period in the 20th century.

Tiles in Istanbul, Turkey, which date back to the end of the Cretaceous period, reveal how the impact of volcanoes eventually allowed dinosaurs to thrive.

“This is how life started to flourish and develop,” Dr. Przemyslaw Szarka, of SITA, told Time. “At this point, you only have one volcanism, Tonto Hill. But suddenly you had these tremendous eruptions, becoming very organized in about 1,600 years. Suddenly there are other volcanoes. This is when the dinosaurs finally arose.”

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