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Yellowstone Vs. Taupo

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posted on Dec, 13 2011 @ 09:24 AM
This will be my first report ive actually ever done in my life, and the first that Ive posted on ATS regarding Supervolcanos, hope you all enjoy it.

Here is some interesting facts about both volcanoes and the eruptions ive based my research on.

TAUPO (The Oruanui Eruption) - New Zealand.
- Happened 26,500 years ago.
- Known to be the Earth's largest eruption in the past 70,000 years.
- Is in one of the most active geothermic areas in the world.
- Erupts every 900years (Its been 1,700years since its last eruption)

YELLOWSTONE (Lava Creek Eruption) - USA.
- Last eruption happened 640,000 years ago.
- One of the worlds largest active volcanic systems.
- Ejecta volume exceeded 1000km2.
- Yellowstone's caldera is about 50 miles across.

So anyway back to: Yellowstone Vs. Lake Taupo.
Both of these Supervolcanoes have had dramatic eruptions in the past.
The reason for choosing these two Volcanoes is simple, i will use these similarities for comparing these two massive Supervolcanoes .

1. Both have ejected huge volumes of rhyolite magma.
2. Each eruption formed a caldera.
3. Both leaving extensive layers of thick pyroclastic-flow deposits.
4. Both the Calderas are approximately the same size.
5. Both are in the VEI (volcanic explosivity index) of category 8.

Roughly a VEI-8 Supervolcano can have a chamber with a spherical volume of 10 trillion cubic meters (a sphere with a diameter of 26kms (17mi aprox.) Look at the San Francisco Bay Area, as though from a very high altitude, the diameter of the sphere would be around the same distance between the San Mateo bridge to the Oakland bay bridge, 16 miles.

A few other VEI-8 Supervolcanoes are;
Long Valley Caldera, California, United States.
Lake Toba, Sumatra, Indonesia.
Krakatoa, Indonesia.

1. Both have ejected huge volumes of rhyolitic magma.
Rhyolite is viscous magma with high Silica content. If the magma doesn't contain gas, rhyolitic tends to just form a Lava dome.
However, when mixed with gas or steam rhyolitic eruptions can be extremely violent. The magma froths to pumice and ash, which is then thrown out into the atmosphere with great force.

If the material thrown out cools quickly, it becomes heavier then the air and collapses (like water from a waterfall), causing a pyroclastic flow. After a pyroclastic flow, the sufficiently hot pumice and ash settle, and stick together; forming what is known as 'Ignimbrite'.

After the Oruanui Eruption at Taupo much of the North Island of New Zealand was covered in Ignimbrite 200m (660ft) deep, and 18cm on the Chatham Islands 1,000km (620mi) away. While the pyroclastic flow that devastated the surrounding area climbed over 1500m (5000ft) to over-top the Kaimanua Ranges and Mt. Tongariro, only stopping after reading Mt. Ruapehu. This covered the land with Ignimbrite deposit, flattening all vegetation and sending Lahars of pumice down all the main rivers including the Waitako river (Which originally ran though the Hauraki Plains). The ash/pumice sheet generated spread from Napier to Auckland, and the ash was even reported making the sunset red over Rome and China.
- 430km3 (100 cu mi) of pyroclastic fall deposit.
- 320km3 (77 cu mi) of pyroclastic density current (PDC) deposits of mostly Ignimbrite..
- 420km3 (100 cu mi) of primary intracaldera materials
- 530km3 (130 cu mi) of magma (99% rhyolitic 1% mafic)

A diagram of Taupo's latest ans substantially smaller Hatepe eruption along side some of histories other major eruptions.

During the Lava Creek Eruption in Yellowstone 1,000km2 (240 cu mi) of ash was deposited from a pyroclastic flow with created the Lava Creek Tuff we see today.

2. Each eruption formed a caldera.
A volcano is supported by magma. Magma holds up the land surface, or volcanic edifice. When an eruption expels a large volume of magma this support is removed, causing the volcanoes dome to collapse. This collapse is what forms a caldera or "crater lake".

Yellowstone and Taupo being roughly the same size have had very different histories.
Taupo erupts on average every 900 years (it has been 1,700yrs since its last eruption) and according to geological records has erupted 28 times in the last 27,000 years.
While Yellowstone has had 27 known eruptions over the last 2.1 million years.

Taupo's caldera was formed in the the event 26,500 years ago known as the Oruanui eruption. It caused several hundred square kilometers of surrounding land to collapse and form the caldera. It is possible that the Lake Taupo event contributed to starting the Last Glacial Maximum.

Yellowstone's first caldera forming eruption occurred 2.1 million years ago. The eruptive blast removed much magma from its subsurface reservoir that the ground above it collapsed into the magma chamber and left a depression in the ground- the huge crater measured 80 kilometers long, 40 kilometers wide.

The reason i have compared the two in how their calderas formed is because the magma chambers were of different sizes. But, both volcanoes have had the same devastating effects on the surrounding landscape.
Yellowstone's caldera being between 30x40km2 and magma chamber can hold an estimated 25000km2 of magma, and 4mi deep below the Earth's crust.

Taupo's caldera measures 185m (610 ft) at the deepest point, with the magma chamber being around the same estimate. With the Magmatic chamber being an estimated 5mi below the Earth's crust around the Taupo volcanic zone.

Geothermal areas around the volcanoes

Both areas of interest (Taupo and Yellowstone) have very high geothermic activity.
Yellowstone holds the record for having the highest concentration of geysers in the world, and is one of the most active volcanic areas on Earth.

While the Taupo volcanic zone is one of the most active geothermal areas in the world with 12 active volcanoes and 30+ geothermal hot-spots including what was the Pink and White terraces (destroyed by the eruption of Mt. Tawawera) from Mt. Ruapehu to White Island. This is caused by the subduction of the Pacific tectonic plate moving in an easterly direction beneath the Indo-Australian plate, which allows magma to rise in large quantities. The Waimangu Geyser was the largest in the known world. Eruptions from Waimangu would typically reach 160m (520ft) and some super-bursts reached an astonishing 500m (1,600ft).

(will have to come to a conclusion now running out of characters haha)

In our lifetimes (say 70 years), I believe that Yellowstone seems more likely to explode, and thats only if the geysers stop erupting. As long as they are working the volcano will have a means to release all the pent up energy under the Earth's crust. Many believe that the geysers working is a sign that Yellowstone will soon erupt; which isn't the case at all. But, if Yellowstone did erupt it will cause a lot more devastation in a wide spread area of about 3 states and cause a lot of death. If it is the next Super-eruption it could possibly effect the Earth on a worldwide scale.

If Taupo did erupt, i dont think it would be a worldwide catastrophe, more of a nationwide one. New Zealand would be in turmoil from the eruption for a long time, effecting the rest of the world seeing as how you get our good fruit and vegetables and the good meat and milk, haha.

Will add more to this tomorrow

posted on Dec, 13 2011 @ 09:31 AM
Great research and thread s&f

I firmly believe that we are long overdue for a super volcano eruption. IMO...Yellowstone is the one to watch closely.

posted on Dec, 13 2011 @ 05:31 PM
only one reply so far. LOL
I never knew about this topauc volcano (whatever it's called).
Thanks for giving me this piece of knowledge at the same time
an enjoyable read.

edit on 13-12-2011 by foreshadower99 because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 13 2011 @ 05:33 PM
Great work, OP. You really brought forth a fact I didn't consider. I was nine years old when St. Helen's went up, and it was hardly a hiccup compared to Taupo, or a fart compared to Yellowstone. Scary thought, yes? Krakatau's son has been making ominous noises of late as well, though, has it not? That will be a rather terrible event as well. I do hope that New Zeland is around for a long time to come, since I am thinking seriously about moving there sometime in the future. Hopefully the earth will let off its stresses in smaller increments with lots of minor adjustments instead of another big blast any time soon.

posted on Dec, 13 2011 @ 07:40 PM
Well, I have to say that for your first...way to get de-virginized!

Great thread with excellent content. S&F

I have to admit that although either of these going off would be a catastrophe on a global scale, it would be something to be a part of that history. Assuming I survived that is...

And what a light show!


edit on 13-12-2011 by jude11 because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 13 2011 @ 09:52 PM
reply to post by NZkraw

Thank you. Very interesting post and well put together.

posted on Dec, 13 2011 @ 10:55 PM
reply to post by NZkraw

I thought the threat of extinction from all super volcanos came from the ash cloud in the upper atmosphere and not so much the magma. Something about triggering an ice age? I probably jumped over it with my dyslexia but this post seems to suggest damage from either of these would only be local.

posted on Dec, 13 2011 @ 11:04 PM
reply to post by NZkraw

Nice post, well researched and put together.

Living in South Australia I'm a little too close for comfort but it would be awesome to see......albeit devastating in the same moment.

posted on Dec, 13 2011 @ 11:21 PM
Chur Bro!! Nice thread, S+F for you!

For those who dont know, heres a pic of the north Island of New Zealand.(Scroll to right, sorry its so big!)

As you can see, 'Lake Taupo' is located almost centre of the North island..
Also notice the amount of Volcanoes around this area and heading up and ito the ocean..
This Super Volcano also just happens to lie just to one side of Pacific and Indian Australian Plates.
Yup, the Ring of Fire.

Couple that with the knowledge that its Overdue for an Eruption, by nearly 900 years, kinda makes ya nervous!
And also, it makes Taupo a bit more Evil than Yellowstone...
From Aucks Brother!
edit on 13-12-2011 by grindhouzer because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 14 2011 @ 12:01 AM
Excellent post Bro ! Way to intro yerself !

posted on Dec, 14 2011 @ 02:19 AM
After all this natural calamities getting worst and worst and wars going on and possibly bigger wars to come (knock on the wood!)? where is the best country or place to hide and take shelter far from all of the 5h!t stuff happening?

S&F btw
This is a classic example of a simple but informative thread!
edit on 14-12-2011 by WinnieDaWho because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 14 2011 @ 01:01 PM
reply to post by NZkraw

Well done. I guess if we get one of those super-eruptions, we won't have to worry about global warming. Or anything else...

posted on Dec, 14 2011 @ 01:53 PM
Most of world's supervolcanoes are in North America. There is like 5 of them, 3 are VEI 8 and 2 are VEI 7. People often forget Yellowstone is not only. There is also very very old super volcano, La Garita, erupted around 28 million years ago, that is a LOT.

There is also interesting supervolcano in Germany, Laacher See, erupted around 13 000 years ago. That is very dangerous volcano, like Europe's Yellowstone. It doesnät even look dangerous, but just pretty lake. Who could see this is supervolcano

posted on Dec, 14 2011 @ 03:53 PM
Nice post! I try not to worry about Yellowstone because if it blows I'll be dead very soon after!! Other than that, Montana is still a great place to live.

posted on Dec, 14 2011 @ 05:40 PM
Great post
There have been rumors that the lake bed of Taupo has been rising for the last 15 years , but it has been hushed up so it does not cause panic.

posted on Aug, 21 2014 @ 06:48 PM
Hi, as a New Zealand citizen since birth (1946) I have taken a deep interest in geology, particularly Earthquakes and Volcanoes. I enjoyed reading your page, however there are a few errors in facts and names etc. The eruption of Taupo did not cover most the North Island in 200m (650') of ash, rather 200m was the deepest ash located near the caldera. Most the ash cover around parts of the North Island was around 150mm - 450mm (6" - 18") The mountain range that a pyroclastic flow traversed is the Kaimanawa's, but recent research suggests that the ash found in the Kaimanawa Ranges could have also come from a local vent, rather than Taupo (pronounced "Toe-Paw")

The Waimangu 'geyser' was not in fact a geyser, rather it was a continuation of the Tarawera eruption (1886) and consisted of phreatic eruptions which began around 1900 and continued for 4 years before it became dormant. A few people were killed in 1903 during one of the eruptions of Waimangu 'geyser'. The Waimangu 'thermal' valley is one of the more active Volcanic areas in NZ and has continued to have minor phreatic events since 1886. It is a well known tourist park and well worth the trip down from Rotorua.

A recent comment about 'rumours of Lake Taupo's floor rising' are unsubstantiated and to the best of my knowledge NZ Government departments have been transparent with scientific data that has shown no significant trend (At Taupo caldera) over the last 40 years. It tends to 'breath' due to tectonic movements, rather than magmatic pressure.



posted on Sep, 10 2016 @ 11:59 AM
Just toooo massive to mention. I've been there a few times and tried to fathom what it may have once been like.. (Oruanui and Hatepe combined caldera aka lake Taupo)... figured may as well just splash my toes around in the waters and enjoy my icecream because its beyond me. Reading your post, that's the first time i've learned how the lake/caldera is formed.. I always thought the mountain just blew it's guts until it was a lake, which is a bit silly, so cheers for the update. One thing I noticed you have referring to Oruanui explosion, you mention it was recorded in Rome and China and this was actually the Hatepe explosion of that time...
excellent work on this article well worth the read dude

posted on Sep, 10 2016 @ 01:29 PM

originally posted by: Templeton
reply to post by NZkraw

I thought the threat of extinction from all super volcanos came from the ash cloud in the upper atmosphere and not so much the magma. Something about triggering an ice age? I probably jumped over it with my dyslexia but this post seems to suggest damage from either of these would only be local.

A super volcanic eruption on the order of VEI 8 would erupt enough gas and ash into the atmosphere to cause a period of several years worth of climate disruption.

Tambora caused the Year Without Summer for example, and it was only VEI 7. That year caused major food shortages across the Northern Hemisphere due to the volcanic winter effect from the eruption. You can find other artifacts of the eruption in the glorious red sunsets depicted in art from the time, too.

Now, Tambora alone did not cause all of the impact although it was the primary. There were a series of four other eruptions from 1812 to 1814 of VEI 4 or better too in this time frame that helped to some extent.

You can also see that Pinatubo's eruption also had a marked impact on global climate during it's time which was much more recent although it was not to dramatic as to cause a "year without summer." Still the impact is visible in climate records.

Now consider that VEI 8 is whole other scale of large beyond VEI 7.

posted on Sep, 10 2016 @ 02:49 PM
Every night I pray for a super volcano eruption to occur in the near future. That would be such an amazing experience.

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