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Secrets Revealed Behind Supervolcano Eruption

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posted on Mar, 10 2007 @ 10:39 AM
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Ran across this while surfing and think it may be worthy of discussion.


Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have discovered what likely triggered the eruption of a "supervolcano" that coated much of the western half of the United States with ash fallout 760,000 years ago.

Using a new technique developed at Rensselaer, the team determined that there was a massive injection of hot magma underneath the surface of what is now the Long Valley Caldera in California some time within 100 years of the gigantic volcano’s eruption. The findings suggest that this introduction of hot melt led to the immense eruption that formed one of the world’s largest volcanic craters or calderas.

Source



The question is are the scientist right, is so why?

mod edit: corrected quote tag to make it work

[edit on 10-3-2007 by UK Wizard]




posted on Mar, 10 2007 @ 12:09 PM
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That is interesting, but how would we detect it? I assume a massive earthquake swarm would be the key, with rising depth. That and a massive harmonic tremor perhaps.

I had wondered how melted magma increased in amount in a magma chamber though, I suppose it had to be newer material.



posted on Mar, 11 2007 @ 01:13 AM
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It's actually pretty good science (I read the original article.)

The mechanism is known to some degree.. it's like a plugged up volcano where the pressure builds over thousands of years until it explodes;
www.wisegeek.com...

Does that mean that the details of the theory will change as we get better tools and better ways to measure what's going on inside the volcanos? Yes, it probably will. Scientists aren't rigidly attached to theories and they change them when the data says that there's something wrong with the idea.



posted on Mar, 11 2007 @ 03:47 AM
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Originally posted by Byrd
Does that mean that the details of the theory will change as we get better tools and better ways to measure what's going on inside the volcanoes?


Hang on, is there some other way of looking at whats going on down there other than looking at the way pressure waves from earthquakes diffract? I thought that was the only method of looking at a magma chamber, or whats happening to it, but I may be wrong.



posted on Mar, 11 2007 @ 01:43 PM
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Originally posted by apex

Originally posted by Byrd
Does that mean that the details of the theory will change as we get better tools and better ways to measure what's going on inside the volcanoes?


Hang on, is there some other way of looking at whats going on down there other than looking at the way pressure waves from earthquakes diffract? I thought that was the only method of looking at a magma chamber, or whats happening to it, but I may be wrong.

They also measure gas, ground temperature in and around the caldera, ground height, infrared imaging, gravitational changes (as the density of the rock changes, the gravity changes ... very slightly but it does change.) I'm not a vulcanologist or a geologist, so I've told you just about all I know on the subject withouth googling. But they do have a variety of tools that they use.



posted on Mar, 11 2007 @ 02:11 PM
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Today I was switching channels while eating breakfast and I stopped on the Discovery Channel because they were talking about the super-volcano that is under Yellowstone.

One of the things that made one scientist think that the volcano was still active was the fact that the margins of one lake were changing with time, sometimes the water would reach the trees on the margin and sometimes it would not.

In this case the ground was 1.5 metres above what was measured in 1923.

So, at least in this case, they can even see it making a "bubble", so they are convinced that they have enough information to know when it will blow, something I hope never happens, the consequences would be disastrous.



posted on Mar, 11 2007 @ 02:12 PM
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Maybe I should have worded my response better, I had meant the actual chamber itself, rather than the general area I suppose. Although I know about the ground uplift, I somehow forgot about that.

The measuring of gas and ground temperature must only give an indication when the magma is very near the surface, though, surely?

I didn't know the gravitational changes could be measured, thats very interesting that it can be done, although I cant think how, I would assume some measurement of forces, and calculation from that?

thanks though, rather informative. If I think about it now, weren't the scientists who went into Galeras looking for signs of an imminent eruption through gases given off?

Edit: ArMap, the webicorder for the Lake can be the most interesting looking one as well, if you wanted to see it.

[edit on 11-3-2007 by apex]



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