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Large Igneous Provinces

  • Presents the first up-to-date, one-stop resource on all major aspects of LIPs
  • Brings together many aspects of Earth sciences into one paradigm, demonstrating LIPs' links to continental breakup, climate crises including mass extinction events, huge ore deposits, and magmatism on other planets
  • Provides broad coverage applicable to many different fields of Earth science disciplines, including tectonics, igneous petrology, geochemistry, geophysics, Earth history, and planetary geology

By: Richard E Ernst(Author)

653 pages, 273 b/w photos and illustrations, 50 tables

Cambridge University Press

Hardback | Sep 2014 | #209997 | ISBN-13: 9780521871778
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £66.99 $86/€74 approx

About this book

Large Igneous Provinces (LIPs) are intraplate magmatic events, involving volumes of mainly mafic magma upwards of 100,000 km3, and often above 1 million km3. They are linked to continental break-up, global environmental catastrophes, regional uplift and a variety of ore deposit types.

In this up-to-date, fascinating book, leading expert Richard Ernst explores all aspects of LIPs, beginning by introducing their definition and essential characteristics. Topics covered include continental and oceanic LIPs; their origins, structures, and geochemistry; geological and environmental effects; association with silicic, carbonatite and kimberlite magmatism; and analogues of LIPs in the Archean, and on other planets.

Large Igneous Provinces concludes with an assessment of LIPs' influence on natural resources such as mineral deposits, petroleum and aquifers. This is a one-stop resource for researchers and graduate students in a wide range of disciplines, including tectonics, igneous petrology, geochemistry, geophysics, Earth history, and planetary geology, and for mining industry professionals.

"This book is truly an excellent comprehensive treatise of LIPs, mantle dynamics, and their undisputed control [of] multiple aspects of intraplate tectono-thermal events. The layout, figures [and] presentations are all of high quality [...] This book is highly recommended to academics, researchers, and geoscientists in the mining and exploration industry."
Ore Geology Reviews

"In Large Igneous Provinces, Ernst sets out to review all aspects of this vast topic and has done an excellent job [...] this is a masterly treatise on an important topic, written by an acknowledged expert in the field. It is comprehensive, packed with information, and yet is easy to read and thoroughly accessible. Each chapter ends with a very useful summary of our current state of knowledge. The book will be enormously useful to anyone with an interest in any aspect of LIPs, and will provide an essential starting point for future LIP studies. It is destined to become the standard work on the subject for a very long time to come."
– Godfrey Fitton, Lithos



1. Introduction, definition, and general characteristics
2. Essential criteria: distinguishing LIP from non-LIP events
3. Continental flood basalts and volcanic rifted margins
4. Oceanic LIPs: oceanic plateaus and ocean basin flood basalts and their remnants through time
5. Plumbing system of LIPs
6. Archean LIPs
7. Planetary LIPs
8. Silicic (Felsic) LIPs
9. Links with carbonatites, kimberlites, and lamprophyres/lamproites
10. Geochemistry of LIPs
11. LIPs and topographic changes
12. LIPs and rifting
13. LIPs and links with contractional structures
14. LIPs and environmental catastrophes
15. Assessing the origin of LIPs
16. LIPs and implications for mineral, hydrocarbon and water resources


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Richard E. Ernst is Scientist-in-Residence in the Department of Earth Science at Carleton University, Ontario, Canada. After receiving his PhD in 1989, he spent four years conducting contracted research in Canada and many global regions, particularly Siberia, mainly for the Geological Survey of Canada. In 2003 Dr Ernst started his consulting firm Ernst Geosciences and also became co-leader of the Large Igneous Provinces (LIPs) Commission of IAVCEI (International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior). He has worked extensively to further research in the field: in 2009, he co-launched a consortium of industry sponsors funding use of the LIP's record for research into reconstruction of supercontinents back into deep-time. Dr Ernst is the author or co-author of more than 100 refereed publications, focussed on all aspects of the terrestrial LIP record and including planetary analogues.

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