Global Geological And Climatic Events

What is Karoo-Ferrar Large Igneous Province?


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Karoo-Ferrar Large Igneous Province

Mains level : NA


A new study shows that a decline in continental plate movement likely controlled the onset and duration of many of the major volcanic events throughout Earth’s history.

Why is the news?

  • Previous studies have linked major volcanic eruptions with past mass extinctions and disturbances in the global climatic, environmental and the carbon cycle.
  • Large igneous province volcanism, formations due to major volcanic eruptions occurring throughout Earth’s history, released large quantities of greenhouse gasses and toxic compounds into the atmosphere.
  • The sea warmed up by 4°C to 10°C, even at low- to mid-latitudes, the study noted.
  • Increased acidic levels and a lack of oxygen drove major ocean extinctions.
  • Large-scale volcanism took place in southern Africa, Antarctica and Australia. This is known as the Karoo-Ferrar Large Igneous Province.

About Karoo-Ferrar Large Igneous Province

  • The Karoo and Ferrar Large Igneous Provinces (LIPs) are two large igneous provinces in Southern Africa and Antarctica respectively, collectively known as the Karoo-Ferrar, Gondwana, or Southeast African LIP associated with the initial break-up of the Gondwana supercontinent.
  • Its flood basalt mostly covers South Africa and Antarctica but portions extend further into southern Africa and into South America, India, Australia and New Zealand.
  • Karoo-Ferrar formed just prior to the breakup of Gondwana in the Lower Jurassic epoch, about 183 million years ago.
  • This time corresponds to the early Toarcian anoxic event and the Pliensbachian-Toarcian extinction.


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