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Back home, the catalyst for the worst biotic catastrophe in the world, the Siberian Traps, don't have much left. 252 million years of erosion was more than enough to reduce the igneous province from an area of 770,000 square miles and a volume of 240,000 to 960,000 cubic miles to a pale shadow of its former self.

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Here are the Siberian Traps from an alternate Earth, which erupted from 60 to 43 million years ago instead of 252, covering an area of 11 million square miles and a volume of four million cubic miles.

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43 million years of erosion obviously result in an altogether different erosion than the 252 of OTL, but to what extent? Using the specified details above, would we still see vast, singular bands of boreal forests and steppes, or would we expect to see Russia hosting a wider variety of habitats?

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closed as too broad by o.m., Aify, Pavel Janicek, kingledion, Azuaron Mar 2 '17 at 14:47

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    $\begingroup$ According to Wikipedia, it took 30 million years to recover, so I'm guessing this would take 30 million years (+-) to recover? Not sure what I'm missing: are you saying it was a much larger eruption at a much earlier time or the same eruption closer to today, so there's a lot more of the igneous material still left? $\endgroup$ – Mikey Mar 2 '17 at 5:52
  • $\begingroup$ After giving this a good faith answer, I find that I have been duped. Duplicate of : worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/questions/54173/…. Shame on me. $\endgroup$ – kingledion Mar 2 '17 at 14:19
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    $\begingroup$ Possible duplicate of Russia's Alternate Geological History $\endgroup$ – kingledion Mar 2 '17 at 14:19
  • $\begingroup$ @Mikey Our Siberian eruptions were estimated to last 100,000 years, which was fast enough for them to cause a mass extinction. The alternate Siberian eruptions lasted 17 million years, too slow for such a thing. $\endgroup$ – JohnWDailey Mar 2 '17 at 14:20
  • $\begingroup$ This is not a duplicate. It's too specific and too narrow to be such. $\endgroup$ – JohnWDailey Mar 2 '17 at 14:22
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If volcanic activity stopped 43 million years ago, then almost assuredly the area that it once covered is now covered in tens if not hundreds of meters of soil.

Flood basalts don't really make mountain ranges. There wouldn't be anything large or tall to erode down, just a big, flat 11 million km sheet of rock...now covered in dirt. So the terrain may be a bit more elevated than today, but otherwise not any different. Therefore, the dominant climate of the region (i.e. cold) would still dictate the biomes.

Conclusion: no change.

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  • $\begingroup$ "Flood basalts don't really make mountain ranges." Then what are these? s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/b5/a3/62/… Also, I said 11 million square MILES. $\endgroup$ – JohnWDailey Mar 2 '17 at 14:17
  • $\begingroup$ a. not mountains; b. you should use km $\endgroup$ – kingledion Mar 2 '17 at 14:18
  • $\begingroup$ a) That doesn't answer the question. b) I don't do metrics. $\endgroup$ – JohnWDailey Mar 2 '17 at 14:22
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I think if these alternate Siberian Traps covered 11 million square miles, there might not be much of any land biomes left afterwards! The end-Permian extinction was already very destructive.

40 to 60 million years should be far more than enough for a raw cooled-lava surface to turn into soil capable of supporting boreal forest and steppe (ecological succession isn't that slow), but that would require that trees etc. survived the extinction.

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  • $\begingroup$ Did I say there was an extinction? An eruption lasting 17 million years is too long for such a thing on the global scale. $\endgroup$ – JohnWDailey Mar 2 '17 at 14:18
  • $\begingroup$ @JohnWDailey You said the eruption event "Lasted 17 Million years". The Actual event caused Britannica to write : britannica.com/science/Permian-extinction: ...The final extinction episode, sometimes referred to as the terminal Permian crisis, while very real, took 15 million years to materialize and likely eliminated many ecologically struggling faunas that had already been greatly reduced by previous extinction episodes leading up to the terminal Permian crisis...." I suggest that little would have survived that would remind you of Russia at all... just my opinion. $\endgroup$ – Joe Mar 2 '17 at 18:50
  • $\begingroup$ I don't follow. $\endgroup$ – JohnWDailey Mar 3 '17 at 0:45

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