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The Lesser Know South American Twin of the Yelowstone Supervolcano

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posted on Mar, 29 2006 @ 01:37 AM
I'm sure most of you have never heard of the Vilama Caldera in Argentina. I only found out about it today. Apparently it matched Yellowstone's continent-wide devastation

Read on:

Mega eruption of Yellowstone's southern twin

North America isn't the only continent that's experienced super-colossal volcanic eruptions in the recent geologic past. The massive explosion of the almost unknown Vilama Caldera in Argentina appears to have matched Yellowstone's last continent-blanketing blast. It may, in fact, be just one of several unappreciated supervolcanoes hidden in a veritable mega-volcano nursery called the Eduardo Avaroa Caldera Complex, located in the inhospitable Puna-Altiplano region near the tri-section of Argentina, Bolivia, and Chile.

"Vilama Caldera formed during a single event that emitted approximately 2000 cubic kilometers (almost 500 cubic miles) of pyroclastic material," said geologist Miguel M. Soler of the National University of Jujuy in San Salvador de Jujuy, Argentina. The volume of ash and pyroclastic material, called ignimbrites, produced by the 8.4 million-year-old eruption, and the size of the associated caldera, put it among the world's largest known eruptions, he says.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

The report continues on to explain that the Vilama Caldera is different than Yellowstone in the sense that it was formed due to Nazca Plate kneading the South American Plate at the point where it collides. This event also resulted in the Andes Mountain Range.

Furthermore, the geologist said that it had remained pretty much unknown because the area is rather dry. While Yellowstone has rivers flowing through it to expose the stratification of the rocks beneath, Vilama is a veritable dust bowl -- one of the driest place on the planet.

P.S. I'm not entirely sure where this post belongs to. I figured I'd put it here since all the other volcano and tectonic plate related posts are here. If it's in the wrong forum, mods, feel free to move it to the appropriate section.

posted on Mar, 29 2006 @ 02:15 AM
Good spot! I am a keen amateur vulcanologist, plus it's my job to report on potential disasters related to geology (I love my job!). I'd never heard of that caldera, let alone the volcanic complex.

posted on Mar, 29 2006 @ 02:45 AM
This is the correct forum for this, Beachcoma. I must confess, I´ve never heard about the Vilama Caldera in Argentina before. ..."among the world's largest known eruptions"

posted on Nov, 7 2006 @ 08:23 AM
looking at this, should we make a thread that is always at the top of the forum (ie fragile earth) that lists supervolcano threads? I just say this as a suggestion.

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