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The Earth is cooling. It is losing heat that is/was formed by the radioactive decay of isotopes, as well as from the heat that was formed during planetary accretion. Heat flow thus underpins all aspects of Earth’s evolution and processes including mantle convection and plate tectonics. Heat flow measurements are useful in that they provide a snapshot into the thermal state at a given location. Steady state surface heat flow (whether that be from the seafloor or on land) varies around the world, and depends on a number of factors including the tectonic setting.
The End-Triassic extinction is one of the largest mass extinctions in the history of Earth. It has been hypothesized that greenhouse gases released from volcanic activity of the Central Atlantic Magmatic Province (CAMP) triggered the extinction. New models in a recent study demonstrate that large-scale gas generation followed the sill emplacement of CAMP in sedimentary basins in northern Brazil.