Publication Abstracts

Way et al. 2022

Way, M.J., R.E. Ernst, and J.D. Scargle, 2022: Large scale volcanism and the heat-death of terrestrial worlds. Planet. Sci. J., 3, no. 4, 92, doi:10.3847/PSJ/ac6033.

Large scale volcanism has played a critical role in the long-term habitability of Earth. Contrary to widely held belief, volcanism rather than impactors have had the greatest influence on, and bear most of the responsibility for, large scale mass extinction events throughout Earth's history. We examine the timing of Large Igneous Provinces (LIPs) throughout Earth's history to estimate the likelihood of nearly simultaneous events that could drive a planet into an extreme moist or runaway greenhouse leading to the end of volatile cycling and causing the heat-death of formerly temperate terrestrial worlds. In one approach we make a conservative estimate of the rate at which sets of near-simultaneous LIPs (pairs, triplets and quartets) occur in a random history statistically the same as Earth's. We find that LIPs closer in time than 0.1-1 million years are likely; significantly this is less than the time over which terrestrial LIP environmental effects are known to persist. In another approach we assess cumulative effects with simulated time series consisting of randomly occurring LIP events with realistic time-profiles. Both approaches support the conjecture that environmental impacts of LIPs, while narrowly avoiding grave affects on the climate history of Earth, could have been responsible for the heat-death of our sister world Venus.

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BibTeX Citation

  author={Way, M. J. and Ernst, R. E. and Scargle, J. D.},
  title={Large scale volcanism and the heat-death of terrestrial worlds},
  journal={Planet. Sci. J.},

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RIS Citation

ID  - wa07800j
AU  - Way, M. J.
AU  - Ernst, R. E.
AU  - Scargle, J. D.
PY  - 2022
TI  - Large scale volcanism and the heat-death of terrestrial worlds
JA  - Planet. Sci. J.
VL  - 3
IS  - 4
SP  - 92
DO  - 10.3847/PSJ/ac6033
ER  -

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