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Re: Deccan Traps

 From: tjragone@vela.acs.oakland.edu (Ragonese)
 > If this is not too far off base, can someone explain what the Deccan 
 > Traps are in laymans terms. 

They are a thick series of layered volcanic rocks (of the basalt type)
covering many thousands of square miles in southern India.  The
word "trap" means "staircase" in some language or other, and refers
to the step-like appearance of the partially eroded layers on the
sides of canyons in the area.  (The traps actually look rather
like Babylonian ziggaruts).

They were formed by a class of volcanic eruption called "flood"
volcanism. This is extremely large scale low-energy eruption
forming large sheets of flowing lava (the layers seen in the
final product).  No such volcanism is occuring today.

There are other "traps" or "flood basalts" in various places of
the world.  There are the Siberian Traps, a set in Antarctica,
and a set in Idaho (I think).  The US flood basalts may be related
to the Yellowstone Hot Spot.

swf@elsegundoca.attgis.com              sarima@netcom.com

The peace of God be with you.