The purpose of Chapter 3.1 is to summarize the most significant impacts and extinctions of the past 300 million years.

Not all really big impacts have led to major extinctions. However, all major extinctions were caused by the initial effects of a really big impact and its antipodal effects.

In one way or another, really big impacts did cause all of the major extinctions of the past 300 million years. The major extinctions prior to the Permian are too obscure to figure out, yet.

The usual rule is that a big impact will create a hotspot at the antipode that will move in the direction of the directional force imparted by the impact. A really big impact will not only create a hotspot, but will also uplift a continent and cause a major extinction.

One exception to the rule is the impact at Manicouagan 214 MYA. The impact was large enough (barely) to uplift the Western Antarctica continent. However, this event did not create a major extinction. It did create a minor extinction, but it did not cause enough damage to create a major extinction.

Another exception to the rule is the huge deep ocean impact 132 MYA that uplifted the South American continent. This impact and its huge lava outflow at Parana and Etendeka caused the Valanginian Weissert Ocean Anoxic Event, but not an official major extinction.

Yet another exception is the Morokwang impact of 145 MYA. While this impact did coincide with a minor extinction and the end of the Jurassic Period, it only created the Greater and Lesser Antilles instead of a continent.

Three other smaller large impacts caused antipodal volcanism and local damage but no serious extinctions or raising up of continents. These impacts were the Kara impact of 70.3 MYA, the Popigai impact of 35.7 MYA and the Chesapeake Bay impact of 35.5 MYA.

A summary of all of the large impacts of the last 300 million years is shown below.

250 Antarctic Crater 480 Siberia End Permian Biggest Known Extinction
214 Manicouagan 85 Western Antarctica Big Minor Extinction Small Continent
202 Ocean Impact, the Bedout Crater off Australia? ? Eastern North America Triassic Central Atlantic Magmatic Provinces (CAMP) - caused by leaky uplift of Eastern North America
145 Morokwang 70 Greater & Lesser Antilles End Jurassic The End-Jurassic was a Big Minor Extinction
132 Deep Ocean ? South America End Triassic The Valanginian Weissert Ocean Anoxic Event may or may not have been a major extinction
70.3 Kara 65-120 No No Volcanism Only
65 Chicxulub 180 India End Cretaceous End of the Dinosaurs
35.5 Chesapeake Bay 40-85 No No Antipodal Volcanism Only
33.7 Popigai 90-100 South Sandwich Islands End Eocene Epoch Big Minor Extinction