By Eric Sorensen, WSU News
PULLMAN, Wash. – The Pacific Northwest was home to one of the Earth’s largest known volcanic eruptions, a millennia-long spewing of sulfuric gas that blocked out the sun and cooled the planet, Washington State University researchers have determined.
Only two other eruptions — the basalt floods of the Siberian Traps and the Deccan Traps — were larger, and they led to two of the Earth’s great extinctions.
“This would have been devastating regionally because of the acid-rain effect from the eruptions,” said John Wolff, a professor in the WSU School of the Environment. “It did have a global effect on temperatures, but not drastic enough to start killing things, or it did not kill enough of them to affect the fossil record.” More….