Siberian Traps

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The Siberian Traps () form a large region of volcanic rock, known as a large igneous province, in the Russian region of Siberia. The massive eruptive event which formed the traps, one of the largest known volcanic events of the last 500 million years of Earth's geological history, continued for a million years and spanned the Permian–Triassic boundary, about 251 to 250 million years ago. It was essentially coincident with the Permian–Triassic extinction event, which is estimated to have killed 90% of species existing at the time. The eruption of the Siberian Traps is considered to be a possible cause of this "Great Dying".

The term "traps" is derived from the Swedish word for stairs (trappa, or sometimes trapp), referring to the step-like hills forming the landscape of the region, which is typical of flood basalts.

Geographical extent

Vast volumes of basaltic lava paved over a large expanse of primeval Siberia in a flood basalt event. Today the area covered is about 2 million km² – roughly equal to western Europe in land area – and estimates of the original coverage are as high as 7 million km². The original volume of lava is estimated to range from 1 to 4 million km³.

The area covered lies between 50° and 75° north latitude and 60° to 120° east longitude.


The source of the Siberian Traps basalt has variously been attributed to a mantle plume which impacted the...
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