The Emeishan Traps is a flood basalt in southern China, the center of which is located in the Chinese province of Sichuan. In the Anglo- American world, he is also known as the Permian Emeishan Large Igneous Province ( roughly translated Permian magmatic province of the Emeishan large ) refers. The basalt deposits extend over an area of 250,000 km ² and are deformed by tectonic processes in the Mesozoic and Cenozoic in a complicated manner and moved from their original horizontal position.
Like other occurrences of Trapp is the Emeishan Traps of many layers of volcanic rocks that were deposited as lava from volcanic eruptions extended. The eruptions began about 260 million years ago and are attributed to a plume. They will be accompanied by basalts countless intrusions.
Although the Emeishan Traps did not reach the extent of geologically slightly younger 251 million years Siberian Trapps far, it is due to the assumed environmental impact with the mass extinction at the end of the Middle Permian ( Guadalupium ) associated. Because of this coincidence between the Emeishan Traps is a part of the larger scholarly debate about the causes of mass extinctions in Earth's history. The temporal coincidence was used as an argument - among others was represented by Vincent Courtillot - for the theory that volcanic activity is the main cause of mass extinction. Opponents of this theory assume as a cause of mass extinction events impact by the impact of a meteorite or comet. Some of them lead volcanic events that led to the formation of flood basalts such as the Emeishan Traps or the Deccan Traps, also returned to such meteor strikes. The theory of a meteorite impact as the cause of the Emeishan Traps however, is highly controversial.