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Lecar and Franklin (1973) investigate hundreds of collisions occurring in a period of only a few thousand years in the early history of the asteroid belt, to understand the present configuration of this region of the solar system. In another paper, entitled “Cometary Collisions and Geological Periods,” Harold Urey (1973) investigates a range of consequences, including the production of earthquakes and the heating of the oceans, which might attend the collision with the Earth of a comet of average mass of about 1018 grams. The Tunguska event of 1908, in which a Siberian forest was leveled, is often attributed to the collision with the Earth of a small comet.

Broca's Brain: Reflections on the Romance of Science By Carl Sagan

I looked up the dictionary, but can't figure out the meaning of 'attend' here.

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See attend:

4) (transitive; often passive) to accompany or follow" ⇒ ■ a high temperature attended by a severe cough"

or attend:

4) to accompany as a circumstance or result" ⇒ success attended his efforts"

My choice with the closest meaning would be:

...including the production of earthquakes and the heating of the oceans, which might accompany or follow the collision with the Earth of a comet of average mass of about 1018 grams.

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  • This sense of "attend" is slightly old-fashioned and formal, in this native speaker's opinion. You don't hear it spoken too much, although you might find it in a book like Sagan's. – stangdon Dec 17 '15 at 12:42
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See Oald, attend (verb) no. 4, meaning to happen at the same time as something. This use is relatively rare. You might replace "which might attend" by "due to". http://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/definition/english/attend?q=attend

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