Magnitude and consequences of volatile release from the Siberian Traps

Benjamin A. Black, Linda T. Elkins-Tanton, Michael C. Rowe, Ingrid Ukstins Peate

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

143 Scopus citations


The eruption of the Siberian Traps flood basalts has been invoked as a trigger for the catastrophic end-Permian mass extinction. Quantitative constraints on volatile degassing are critical to understanding the environmental consequences of volcanism. We measured sulfur, chlorine, and fluorine in melt inclusions from the Siberian Traps and found that concentrations of these volatiles in some magmas were anomalously high compared to other continental flood basalts. For the ten samples for which we present data, volatile concentrations in individual melt inclusions range from less than the detection limit to 0.51. wt.% S, 0.94. wt.% Cl, and 1.95. wt.% F. Degassing from the Siberian Traps released approximately ~6300-7800. Gt S, ~3400-8700. Gt Cl, and ~7100-13,600. Gt F. These large volatile loads, if injected into the stratosphere, may have contributed to a drastic deterioration in global environmental conditions during the end-Permian.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)363-373
Number of pages11
JournalEarth and Planetary Science Letters
StatePublished - Feb 1 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • End-Permian
  • Large igneous provinces
  • Mass extinction
  • Siberian Traps

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science


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