iCRAG researchers Ben Couvin, Niamh Faulkner, Dr Haleh Karbala Ali and Erica Krueger have this week returned to shore from the PORO-CLIM expedition aboard the RV Celtic Explorer.
Led by Chief Scientist Stephen Jones of the University of Birmingham, PORO-CLIM is looking at how Earth's deep interior has affected global climate in the geological past. Large Igneous Provinces (LIPs) are huge outpourings of lava accompanied by voluminous release of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. The PORO-CLIM team are investigating why LIPs coincide with some of the most remarkable global climate changes and mass extinctions in Earth's history.
Specifically, the team are asking whether the local LIP, the North Atlantic LIP, which comprises ancient volcanic eruptions from Giant’s Causeway to western Greenland, could have driven a natural global climate change event that is the closest deep-time analogue of anthropogenic environmental change (though the modern change is happening much faster). To answer these questions, the team need accurate measurements of the thickness of Earth’s crust along four tracks in the North Atlantic ocean, to the west of Ireland and Britain.
Across the course of the PORO-CLIM research cruise, the team surveyed the seabed beneath the Porcupine & Rockall basins to measure the pace of deep-time cliamate change.
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