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MtnGoat
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PostWed Oct 11, 2017 4:53 pm 
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Pretty wild, I always wonder about the impact of gigantic flood basalt episodes, like the Deccan and Siberian Traps, and #3, the Columbia basin region...

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The research, which was funded by the National Science Foundation, appears in Geology, the top journal in the field. Starting 16.5 million years ago, they say, vents in southeast Washington and northeast Oregon put out a series of flows that reached nearly to Canada and all the way to the Pacific Ocean. The flows created the Wapshilla Ridge Member of the Grande Ronde Basalt, a kilometer-thick block familiar to travelers in the Columbia Gorge and most of Eastern Washington. The researchers say it is “the largest mapped flood basalt unit on Earth.”

The researchers estimate that, over tens of thousands of years, the floods put out between 242 and 305 billion tons of sulfur dioxide. That’s more than 4,000 times the output of the 1815 Mount Tambora eruption in present-day Indonesia. That eruption blanketed the Earth in an aerosol veil, creating the “Year Without A Summer” and food shortages across the northern hemisphere.

The volume of gas emitted from the Wapshilla Ridge lavas, said the researchers, “is equivalent to a Tambora eruption every day for 11 to 16 years.”

big eruptions

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Diplomacy is the art of saying 'Nice doggie' until you can find a rock. - Will Rogers
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skookum olympus
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PostSat Oct 21, 2017 6:58 am 
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I would need to find the Youtube video where I saw him mention it, and I'm most definitely not dedicating my weekend to that rabbit hole, but Nick Zentner, at CWU, mentioned how these flood basalts were 'almost' an extinction event, and alluded to the eruptions ceasing seemingly early, for unknown reasons, when compared to the Deccan or Siberian Traps. He then went on to desscribe places where you can actually see and touch rock formations left from these eruptions - the splatters and dikes and such.

Fascinating stuff!

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..... to be whole and harmonious, man must also know the music of the beaches and the woods. He must find the thing of which he is only an infinitesimal part and nurture it and love it, if he is to live.

~Wm. O. Douglas
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skookum olympus
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PostSat Oct 21, 2017 7:03 am 
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Here is a link to that Nick Zentner video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VQhjkemEyUo

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..... to be whole and harmonious, man must also know the music of the beaches and the woods. He must find the thing of which he is only an infinitesimal part and nurture it and love it, if he is to live.

~Wm. O. Douglas
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Bird in Hand
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PostSat Oct 21, 2017 8:21 am 
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Nick is a terrific resource here in E-burg. Also, see the Ice Age Floods Institute which talks about the formation of the coulees and Channeled Scablands. The Nick on the Rocks videos are great as are his earlier, 2 Minute Geology vids. His geology classes are open to anyone and his talks at the library are almost always SRO. Some of his field trips have had well over 100 people in attendance.
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Pyrites
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PostWed Oct 25, 2017 10:22 pm 
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Skookum

Thanks for the tip. I listened to a couple of Z’s vid’s, and will listen to more.

Best.

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skookum olympus
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PostFri Oct 27, 2017 4:56 am 
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up.gif I was most fascinated by the 'Ancient Rivers' video. Enjoy!

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..... to be whole and harmonious, man must also know the music of the beaches and the woods. He must find the thing of which he is only an infinitesimal part and nurture it and love it, if he is to live.

~Wm. O. Douglas
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Schenk
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PostWed Nov 01, 2017 11:26 am 
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MtnGoat wrote:
The researchers estimate that, over tens of thousands of years, the floods put out between 242 and 305 billion tons of sulfur dioxide. That’s more than 4,000 times the output of the 1815 Mount Tambora eruption in present-day Indonesia. That eruption blanketed the Earth in an aerosol veil, creating the “Year Without A Summer” and food shortages across the northern hemisphere.

The volume of gas emitted from the Wapshilla Ridge lavas, said the researchers, “is equivalent to a Tambora eruption every day for 11 to 16 years.”

Unless my math is off, their math is off.
4000 times the Tambora eruption amount of sulfur dioxide emitted over the course of "tens of thousands of years" does not equate to "the equivalent of a Tambora eruption every day for 11 to 16 years"
Does it????

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Bird in Hand
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PostFri Nov 03, 2017 7:22 am 
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Don't ask me about the math but Sunday I'm going on a field trip to see some of the fissures from which the great lava flows erupted. I'll ask about the gas emissions. Living in Central WA is fascinating because of the titanic forces that have shaped the landscape.  If you want to frustrate a geologist just ask how much all the basalt here weighs? He didn't actually assault me but was tempted.
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drm
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PostWed Nov 08, 2017 10:58 am 
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Schenk wrote:
Unless my math is off, their math is off.
4000 times the Tambora eruption amount of sulfur dioxide emitted over the course of "tens of thousands of years" does not equate to "the equivalent of a Tambora eruption every day for 11 to 16 years"

Well, 4000 / 365 days is pretty close to 11 years. But if in reality that was emitted over tens of thousands of years, then, if we figure 11,000 years for ease of calculation, the actual event was releasing this gas at a rate one thousandth of Tambora.  Since the lifetime of SO2 in the atmosphere ranges from days to weeks (unlike CO2), that would indicate that this event was not emitting this gas at a high enough rate to impact climate, as it would get washed out before it accumulated enough to do any cooliing.

Otoh, it's unlikely the rate was that consistent. There may well have been short periods of intense activity which could have affected the climate. But even super volcanic eruptions generally fade from climatic impact in 5 years or so. The atmospheric lifetime of CO2 really is one of the main drivers of global warming and doubters and deniers seem unable to grasp this.

If CO2 washed out as quick as SO2, there would be no global warming. There also would be a permanent ice age.
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Ringangleclaw
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PostFri Nov 17, 2017 9:41 am 
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Bird in Hand wrote:
If you want to frustrate a geologist just ask how much all the basalt here weighs? He didn't actually assault me but was tempted.

Pretty easy answer.  There are multiple papers that give the the proposed volumes of the CRB.  Steve Reidell has been amoung the most prolific researchers.  Now multiply that volume by the density of water then by a specific gravity multiplier for a general basalt.

I come up with 3.85X10*14 pounds +/- 12 pounds
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Ringangleclaw
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PostFri Nov 17, 2017 10:00 am 
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drm wrote:
Schenk wrote:
Unless my math is off, their math is off.
4000 times the Tambora eruption amount of sulfur dioxide emitted over the course of "tens of thousands of years" does not equate to "the equivalent of a Tambora eruption every day for 11 to 16 years"

Well, 4000 / 365 days is pretty close to 11 years. But if in reality that was emitted over tens of thousands of years, then, if we figure 11,000 years for ease of calculation, the actual event was releasing this gas at a rate one thousandth of Tambora.  Since the lifetime of SO2 in the atmosphere ranges from days to weeks (unlike CO2), that would indicate that this event was not emitting this gas at a high enough rate to impact climate, as it would get washed out before it accumulated enough to do any cooliing.

Otoh, it's unlikely the rate was that consistent. There may well have been short periods of intense activity which could have affected the climate. But even super volcanic eruptions generally fade from climatic impact in 5 years or so. The atmospheric lifetime of CO2 really is one of the main drivers of global warming and doubters and deniers seem unable to grasp this.

If CO2 washed out as quick as SO2, there would be no global warming. There also would be a permanent ice age.

I think the problem we are having with the numbers in this conversation is that the press release makes it easy to mix up the volume of SO2 in the Wapshilla memeber, with that of the Grande Ronde and with that of the greater CRB.
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Malachai Constant
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PostFri Nov 17, 2017 10:06 am 
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The Columbia Flood Basaults clearly erupted oover thousands of years as forests had time to grow between them. That is where the petrified wood near Vantage is found between the layers.

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"You do not laugh when you look at the mountains, or when you look at the sea." Lafcadio Hearn
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Ringangleclaw
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PostFri Nov 17, 2017 10:21 am 
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Malachai Constant wrote:
The Columbia Flood Basaults clearly erupted oover thousands of years as forests had time to grow between them. That is where the petrified wood near Vantage is found between the layers.

Yes, their flow history and rate is established.  But I don't think todays convential wisdom is that the trees that are the precursors to the petrified wood grew in situ.  They were likely derived from forests on adjacent uplands loosened during floods, storms and eruptions.

Eric Cheney and Luna Leopold may disagree with my view of the CW.
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