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Large explosive volcanic eruptions can have lasting effects on climate and have been held responsible for severe climate effects in Earth's history. One such event occurred around 56 million years ago when global temperatures increased by 5-8 °C. This event has been named the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM). The warm period was associated with volcanic activity in the North Atlantic region, especially in Greenland, the British Isles and the present day North Sea region. However, until now, no large-scale explosive eruptions had been confirmed in current-day Scotland.
A team of researchers at Uppsala University, Sweden, the Universities of Durham and St Andrews in the UK, and the Scottish Environmental Research Centre in Glasgow, now seem to have found a missing piece of the puzzle. By studying volcanic rocks called pitchstones from islands more than 30 kilometres apart in the Inner Hebrides off the west coast of Scotland, the researchers have found plausible evidence of a major eruption from what is today the Isle of Skye.
Researchers - Methods - Pitchstones
The researchers used several different methods to compare the pitchstones...
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