Supervolcano

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What is a supervolcano

A supervolcano is a extreme large volcano that has a VEI (Volcanic Explosivity Index) of 8.  A supervolcano deposits more than 1,000 cubic kilometers.  Like all volcanic eruptions a supervolcano occurs when the pressure of magma increases until the crust can longer handle it.

Dangers of a supervolcano

The short term dangers of a supervolcano depend on how far you from the eruption.   Those living within a hundred miles of the explosion would have little chance of survival as the lava and heated gas spread out from the caldera.   Those outside the 100 mile range would have to deal with volcanic ash particles in the air that can cause lung damage, clog engines and collapsing roofs.  The below image shows the possible levels of ash after a Yellowstone supervolcano eruption.

The long term effects of a supervolcano are reduced sun light  and volcanic particles in the air.  The reduced sun light would cause global cooling and a mini ice age.  This would almost completely shut down all agricultural.  The volcanic particles in the air would shut down almost all transportation since the particles would clog the engines and kill most of the wildlife and farm animals.  This would cause a global shutdown of commerce and people would be left to fend for themselves.  The mini ice age could last up to ten years as the volcanic ash in the atmosphere slowly falls to earth.

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    Past supervolcano eruptions

    VEI 8 eruptions have happened in the following locations. hide
    Name Location Years ago (approx.) Ejecta bulk volume (approx.)
    La Garita Caldera Colorado, United States 27,800,000 5,000 km3
    Lake Toba Sumatra, Indonesia 74,000 2,800 km3
    Huckleberry Ridge eruption Idaho, United States 2,100,000 2,500 km3
    Atana Ignimbrite Antofagasta, Chile 4,000,000 2,500 km3
    Taupo Nui a tia North Island, New Zealand 340,000 2,000 km3
    Heise Volcanic Field Idaho, United States 4,500,000 1,800 km3
    Heise Volcanic Field Idaho, United States 6,000,000 1,500 km3
    Cerro Guacha Sur Lípez, Bolivia 5,700,000 1,300 km3
    Mangakino Caldera North Island, New Zealand 1,080,000 1,200 km3
    Oruanui eruption North Island, New Zealand 26,500 1,170 km3
    Cerro Galán Catamarca, Argentina 2,500,000 1,050 km3
    Lava Creek eruption Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming, United States 640,000 1,000 km3

    Table source Wikipedia

     

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