Gas emissions due to magma-sediment interactions during flood magmatism at the Siberian Traps: gas dispersion and environmental consequences.

Abstract : We estimate the fluxes of extremely reduced gas emissions produced during the emplacement of the Siberian Traps large igneous province, due to magma intrusion in the coaliferous sediments of the Tunguska Basin. Using the results of a companion paper (Iacono-Marziano et al. submitted to EPSL), and a recent work about low temperature interaction between magma and organic matter (Svensen et al., 2009), we calculate CO-CH4-dominated gas emission rates of 7×1015-2×1016 g/yr for a single magmatic/volcanic event. These fluxes are 7 to 20 times higher than those calculated for purely magmatic gas emissions, in the absence of interaction with organic matter-rich sediments. We investigate, by means of atmospheric modelling employing present geography of Siberia, the short and mid term dispersion of these gas emissions into the atmosphere. The lateral propagation of CO and CH4 leads to an important perturbation of the atmosphere chemistry, consisting in a strong reduction of the radical OH concentration. As a consequence, both CO and CH4 lifetimes in the lower atmosphere are enhanced by a factor of at least 3, at the continental scale, as a consequence of 30 days of magmatic activity. The short-term effect of the injection of carbon monoxide and methane into the atmosphere is therefore to increase the residence times of these two species and, in turn, their capacity of geographic expansion. The estimated CO and CH4 volume mixing ratios (i.e. the number of molecules of CO or CH4 per cm3, divided by the total number of molecules per cm3) in the low atmosphere are 2-5 ppmv at the continental scale and locally higher than 50 ppmv. The dimension of the area affected by these high volume mixing ratios decreases in the presence of a lava flow accompanying magma intrusion at depth. Complementary calculations for a 10-year duration of the magmatic activity suggest (i) an increase in the mean CH4 volume mixing ratio of the whole atmosphere up to values 3 to 15 times higher than the current one, and (ii) recovery times of 100 years to bring back the atmospheric volume mixing ratio of CH4 to the pre-magmatic value. Thermogenic methane emissions from the Siberian Traps has already been proposed to crucially contribute to end Permian-Early Triassic global warming and to the negative carbon isotopic shift observed globally in both marine and terrestrial sediments. Our results corroborate these hypotheses and suggest that concurrent high temperature CO emissions also played a key role by contributing to increase (i) the radiative forcing of methane and therefore in its global warming potential, and (ii) the input of isotopically light carbon into the atmosphere that generated the isotopic excursion. We also speculate a poisoning effect of high carbon monoxide concentrations on end-Permian fauna, at a local scale.
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Giada Iacono-Marziano, Virginie Marecal, Michel Pirre, Fabrice Gaillard, Joaquim Arteta, et al.. Gas emissions due to magma-sediment interactions during flood magmatism at the Siberian Traps: gas dispersion and environmental consequences.. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Elsevier, 2012, 357-358, pp.308-318. ⟨10.1016/j.epsl.2012.09.051⟩. ⟨insu-00801929⟩

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