Supervolcanoes on Earth: Extremely Dangerous and Deadly
There are hundreds of volcanoes in the world. These volcanoes can be categorized as small, medium, large and an additional category - supervolcano. As the word “supervolcano’ implies it is definitely a very dangerous volcano. What is a supervolcano? Well, a supervolcano is a volcano capable of producing a volcanic eruption with ejecta greater than 1,000 cubic km. For comparison, this is thousands of times larger than most historic volcanic eruptions.
There are only few supervolcanoes in the world but they pose great hazard and danger. These supervolcanoes are big threat to the extinction of species.
First on the list is Aira Caldera, a gigantic volcanic caldera located in the island of Kyushu, Japan, with an area of 391 km². It is believed that this caldera was created by an enormous eruption about 22,000 years ago. Sakura-jima Volcano, a 13,000 year-old volcano, lies within the caldera. This volcano is one of the most active volcanoes in Japan. The first major city to be wiped out just in case this supervolcano will erupt will be Kagoshima because it lies within the caldera.
The second supervolcano on the list is Lake Taupo, a mammoth volcano located in the North Island of New Zealand. It is a caldera that most people don’t believe it is. This massive volcano has produced two of the world’s most violent eruptions in geologically recent times. The first eruption of this supervolcano occurred around 300,000 years ago. This gigantic volcano’s most recent eruption happened 1,800 years ago – one of the world’s most violent eruptions in the last 5,000 years.
The so-called Oruanui eruption of the Taupo Volcano was the largest known eruption in the world in the past 70,000 years. This eruption that occurred 26,000 years ago had a VEI or Volcanic Explosivity Index of 8. This massive eruption generated about 430 km³ of pyroclastic fall deposits, 320 km³ of pyroclastic density current (PDC) deposits and 420 km³ of primary intracaldera material, equivalent to 530 km³ of magma.
The third supervolcano on the list is Lake Toba, a lake and supervolcano located in the island of Sumatra, Indonesia. This 100 km long and 30 km wide supervolcano is the world’s largest volcanic lake. Its enormous and violent eruptions 77,000 years ago caused a massive climate-changing event. This mega-colossal volcanic eruption, with a VEI of 8 intensity is the Earth’s largest known eruption in the last 25 million years.
The fourth supervolcano on the list is Yellowstone Caldera, a huge volcanic caldera located in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA. The Yellowstone Supervolcano has an area of 3,760 km². The caldera is believed to lie on top of an area called a hotspot where light, hot, molten mantle rock rises towards the surface. The last known full-scale eruption of Yellowstone Caldera occurred 640,000 years ago. This colossal eruption known as Lava Creek Eruption ejected about1, 000 km3 of rock and dust into the sky.
Long Valley Caldera
The fifth supervolcano on the list is Long Valley Caldera, a depression located in California, USA. Long Valley Caldera, with an area of 576 km², is one of the world’s largest calderas. The floor of the caldera has an average elevation of 2,300 meters. It is estimated that this caldera was created 760,000 years ago by a massive eruption that released very hot ash.
The sixth and the last supervolcano on the list is Valles Caldera, a colossal volcanic caldera located in the Jemez Mountains in New Mexico, USA. This caldera with a diameter of 19 km contains Valle Grande, the largest valle or grass valley and the only one with a paved road.
Valles Caldera, one of the smaller volcanoes in the supervolcano category, is the younger of two calderas known at this location, having collapsed over and buried the Toledo Caldera, which in turn may have collapsed over yet older calderas. The last eruption of this supervolcano is estimated to have occurred about 60,000 years ago. Valles Caldera is also known as Jemez Caldera.
All these supervolcanoes look so beautiful and serene but they are all dangerously deadly!!!