Super volcanoes
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“Super Volcanoes ”. Tom Pering. Today’s topics…. What is a super eruption? Where do super eruptions occur? What do super volcanoes look like? “Super Volcanoes” around the world. Yellowstone Caldera Chain Yellowstone Now What would an eruption at Yellowstone be like to live through?

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Super volcanoes

“Super Volcanoes”

Tom Pering


Today s topics
Today’s topics…

  • What is a super eruption?

  • Where do super eruptions occur?

  • What do super volcanoes look like?

  • “Super Volcanoes” around the world.

  • Yellowstone Caldera Chain

  • Yellowstone Now

  • What would an eruption at Yellowstone be like to live through?

  • What are the chances of an eruption occurring in our lifetime?


What is a super eruption
What is a super eruption?

  • You may know about super eruptions under the term “supervolcano”.

  • Definition of a super eruption

    • VEI 8 – Ultra-Plinian, Mega-Colossal


Lord byron darkness
Lord Byron - Darkness

“I had a dream, which was not all a dream.The bright sun was extinguished, and the starsDid wander darkling in the eternal space,Rayless, and pathless, and the icy earthSwung blind and blackening in the moonless air;Morn came and went -and came, and brought no day”


Where do super eruptions occur
Where do super eruptions occur?

  • Plate Boundaries

  • Hot Spots

    • Mantle Plume

  • Huge Magma Chambers



Well known super volcanoes
Well known “super volcanoes”

  • Yellowstone, USA

  • Lake Toba, INDONESIA

  • Taupo, NEW ZEALAND

Not so well known “super volcanoes”

  • La Garita Caldera, USA

  • Cerro Galán, ARGENTINA

  • Glen Coe, SCOTLAND

  • Scafells, Lake District, ENGLAND


Glen coe scotland
Glen Coe, Scotland

  • Last eruption 420 million years ago

  • Silurian (Paleozoic Era)

  • 5 eruptions

  • Roughly 500,000 years apart.

  • Glaciations


Scafells lake district england
Scafells, Lake District, England

  • 440 – 520 million years ago (unknown last eruption)

  • Ordovician (Paleozoic Era)

  • Largest known phreatomagmatic eruption

  • VEI 7 or 8?

  • Glaciations


Lake toba indonesia
Lake Toba, Indonesia

  • 74,000 years ago

  • Largest Volcanic Lake in world

  • Mankind survived


Taupo new zealand
Taupo, New Zealand

  • First Eruption – 300,000 years ago

  • Oruanui Eruption

    • 26,500 years ago

  • Lots of volcanic activity nearby


La garita caldera usa
La Garita Caldera, USA

  • Colorado

  • 26 million years ago

    • Largest known eruption

  • 5000 km³


Cerro gal n argentina
Cerro Galán, Argentina

  • Andes Mountain Range

  • 2.2 million years ago

  • 1050 km³



Yellowstone eruptions
Yellowstone Eruptions

  • Huckleberry Ridge Caldera, 2.1 million years ago

    • 2450 km³

  • Mesa Falls, 1.3 million years ago

    • 280 km³

  • Lava Creek, 640,000 years ago

    • 1000 km³

      • Source: USGS



Yellowstone now
Yellowstone Now

  • National Park - over 3 million visitors a year.

  • 307 million people in the USA

  • An eruption at Yellowstone could be a small outflow of lava or an VEI 8 eruption.

  • Large Magma Chamber


Warning signs of an imminent eruption
Warning signs of an imminent eruption

  • High ground temperatures

  • Increased volcanic gas emission

  • Hydrothermal feature – activity increase

  • Ground uplift

  • Hydrothermal explosions

  • Earthquakes

  • Harmonic tremors


Possible regional effects of an eruption at yellowstone
Possible regional effects of an eruption at Yellowstone

  • Zone 1 – Pyroclastic Zone (Around 90,000 could be killed – 90% mortality rate)

    • 100 km radius

  • Zone 2 and 3 – Asphyxiation and Roof Collapse

    • 3 million people trapped by ash

  • Zone 4

    • Ashfall – 15cm

  • Zone 5

    • Ashfall – 5cm

  • Zone 6

    • Ashfall – 1cm


Different ways to die
Different ways to die…

  • Direct

    • Asphyxiation

    • Gas Poisoning

    • Pyroclastic Flows

    • Roof Collapse

    • Burning

    • Lahars

    • Plane Crash

  • Indirect

    • Starvation / Drought

    • Freeze

    • Riots / Conflict


What could be the global effects of an eruption at yellowstone
What could be the global effects of an eruption at Yellowstone?

  • Water Contamination

  • Food Shortages

  • Increase Rainfall

  • Economic Failure

  • Extinction

  • Volcanic Winter

  • Triggering of an Ice Age



Further reading
Further Reading lifetimes?

  • http://www.yellowstonenationalpark.com/calderas.htm

  • Yellowstone Volcano Observatory

  • USGS


References
References lifetimes?

  • Brenchley, P.J., Rawson, P.F., 1990? The Geology of England and Wales. The Geological Society. Bath. 256pp

  • CIA World Fact book [Online]

  • Cole, J.W., Milner, D.M., Spinks, K.D., 2005. Calderas and caldera structures: a review. Earth Science Reviews. 69, pp. 1-26

  • Grotzinger, J., Jordan, T.H., Press, F., Siever, R., 2006. Understanding Earth. W.H.Freeman. Basingstoke.

  • Moore, I., Kokelaar, P., 1998. Tectonically controlled piecemeal caldera collapse: A case study of Glencoe volcano, Scotland. Geological Society of America Bulletin. 110 (11), pp. 1448-1466

  • Riciptu, L.R., Johnson, C.M., Sawyer, D.A., Lipman, P.W., 1995. Crustal and magmatic evolution in a large multicyclic caldera complex. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research. 67, pp. 1 – 28

  • Wilson, C.J.N., 2001. The 26.5ka oruanui eruption, New Zealand: an introduction and overview. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research. 112, pp. 133 - 174