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April 2009 Geology and GSA Today media highlights
Date:3/31/2009

results suggest that earthquakes can affect rock properties at large distances from a fault and may result in persistent fault systems through localization of strain.


Role of non-mantle CO2 in the dynamics of volcano degassing: The Mount Vesuvius example
Giada Iacono-Marziano et al., Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Sezione di Palermo, Via Ugo la Malfa 153, 90146 Palermo, Italy. Pages 319-322.

Mount Vesuvius, although quiescent since 1944, is currently characterized by elevated carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions of debated origin (about 300 tons of CO2 per day). The volcano is sited on a carbonate sedimentary sequence several kilometers thick. In this paper, Iacono-Marziano et al. show how Mount Vesuvius basaltic magmas coming into contact with the carbonate rocks of the basement assimilate them and liberate CO2, explaining CO2 emissions measured at the surface around the volcano. The assimilation of carbonate rocks by magmas probably contributes, to a certain extent, to the CO2 degassing of several other volcanic centers, dormant or active, located over sedimentary rocks. Magma-carbonate interactions could therefore have a major role in global CO2 emissions from volcanoes, which has been underestimated so far.


Climate changes caused by degassing of sediments during the emplacement of large igneous provinces
Clement Ganino and Nicholas T. Arndt, Laboratoire de Geodynamique des Chaines Alpines, Universite Joseph Fourier de Grenoble, CNRS, 1381 Rue de la Piscine 38400 Saint Martin d'Heres, France. Pages 323-326.

Some, but not all, large igneous provinces coincide with global warming episodes and mass extinctions. The Cretaceous-Tertiary mass extinction coincides with flood volcanism in the Deccan province of India; the Permian-Triassic extinction with the emplacement of the Siberian Traps.
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Contact: Christa Stratton
cstratton@geosociety.org
303-357-1093
Geological Society of America
Source:Eurekalert

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