The effects of large igneous provinces on the global carbon and sulphur cycles
Jones et al
The correlation between large igneous provinces (LIPs), extinction events, and rapid climate change suggests that volcanism can have a detrimental impact on Earth surface conditions. Changes in atmospheric and ocean chemistry, particularly the climate-sensitive carbon and sulphur cycles, are among the most probable processes for inducing global environmental stress. However, the interactions and feedbacks between volcanism and these cycles are numerous and complex, making the characterisation of the response to a LIP challenging. Here we summarise the sources and sinks of carbon and sulphur from large scale volcanism and magmatism using information from modern and ancient systems. For the sources, we review the current understanding of volcanic emissions, and explore the relative contributions and importance of magma-derived degassing versus volatile release from sediments affected by igneous intrusions and lava. In addition, we explore the various ways in which LIPs can reduce atmospheric concentrations of these same elements. The relative influences of each source and sink are in part determined by the mode of LIP emplacement and eruption style, along with the subsequent timescales of such effects. We focus on a few key examples, including the Siberian Traps, the Paraná-Etendeka, and the Central Atlantic Magmatic Province (CAMP), to demonstrate how the environmental impact can vary considerably with differing modes of emplacement, LIP duration, and eruption styles. In particular, we show that the host rocks can have a dominant role as a source or sink of emissions, depending on the lithologies affected by the LIP emplacement.