Photo: Undersea Volcanic Eruptions Linked to Ancient Die-Off



People stand near the Contessa Quarry in central Italy in an undated photo.

The different-colored sediment layers, once covered by an ocean, demonstrate oxygenated versus anoxic—or oxygen-starved—conditions.

A new study released on July 16, 2008, found that a surge of undersea volcanic activity about 93 million years ago sapped oceans of oxygen, triggering a mass extinction of marine life.

Photograph courtesy S. Turgeon


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