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Geologists identify trigger for apocalyptic 'super eruptions'

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posted on Jan, 6 2014 @ 11:47 AM
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Stumbled upon this article, and I was elated to see that we finally may have honed in on a tell-tale sign of a coming "super volcano" eruption.


They rank among the most catastrophic natural disasters on Earth, second only in destructive power to an asteroid impact that could ensure humanity meets the same fate as the dinosaurs.

Super eruptions make those from normal volcanoes look like sputters of dust. They blast enough material into the air to bury large cities beneath kilometres of ash, and the particles they send into the sky can cool the planet for years.

But the most alarming aspect of these rare and violent events, which have left deep scars on the planet's surface, is that the forces that drive them have never been understood.



Most of us know the destructive power of a super volcano, but I didn't know that the process leading to eruption was under such mystery.



The run-up to a super-eruption is different. Magma builds up so slowly that the rocky walls of the chamber heat up and expand, allowing the chamber to grow to a huge size. This relieves pressure inside the magma chamber. But as the chamber grows, more buoyant magma is forced upwards, and can eventually fracture the surface rock, causing a massive eruption.

In an accompanying article in the journal, Mark Jellinek, a volcanologist at the University of British Columbia, writes that the magma's buoyancy alone can trigger the eruptions.



So now we think we have a tell-tale sign of an impending super eruption. The same result was reached by two different teams of scientists using two separate methods (read the article to learn the details of that).



The work will be crucial for helping scientists predict when super eruptions are nigh, Jellinek told the Guardian. "Understanding the underlying mechanisms for both super eruptions and Pinatubo-sized events is key for eruption forecasting. Individual super eruptions can potentially influence global climate for a sufficiently long period to change our place in the world," he said.



Will this lead to effectively predicting and forecasting future catastrophic eruptions? Will applying this new knowledge to the Yellowstone Super Volcano alleviate fears, or simply make us more terrified of what is below?

Source




posted on Jan, 6 2014 @ 11:56 AM
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Great catch OP! S/F

If this helps a bit, it's an index with more detail about each of the world's big ones.



Source: RSOE Disaster Index



posted on Jan, 6 2014 @ 12:01 PM
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I agree that's interesting.

However, I confess that while reading this all I could think of was a giant carbuncle zit full of fiery doom.


I'm sorry.



posted on Jan, 6 2014 @ 12:04 PM
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It doesn't help alleviate my fears any that they found that the magma chamber underneath Yellowstone is 2.5 times bigger than previously thought. =8O



posted on Jan, 6 2014 @ 12:07 PM
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Interesting info. S&F. I like volcano porn. I like earthquake porn. I really like solar and asteroid porn. I can't forget comets either. Strange that I am not afraid of these things, I have always liked porn.

Maybe I should pull my foot out of my mouth.



posted on Jan, 6 2014 @ 12:09 PM
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reply to post by rickymouse
 


Stuff that can kill you always fascinates right up until it's actually happening, then it gets a little too real.



posted on Jan, 6 2014 @ 12:13 PM
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reply to post by gatorboi117
 


If and when they actually believe they know one of these will erupt, at what point do we think we would get a warning.
Personally I doubt they would say anything, people would have to read the signs themselves such as increases quakes and leave on their own.



posted on Jan, 6 2014 @ 12:19 PM
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reply to post by Char-Lee
 


Considering that they warn people about hurricanes now and try to evacuate them, I'm guessing that there are even odds that they would try to do something to warn people about an impending eruption of one of these. I mean some of the hurricanes we see are large enough in land area to cover the immediate, most catastrophic impacts of a super volcano.

The ash fall and other effects we would have to try to ride out. I can see them telling us to use the old duct tape and plastic thing on our doors and windows and to stock up on food. This would be where people who lay in a supply on their own would have a leg up. Then, it comes down to how long and how much ash fall you receive on your roof and where you are. Will your roof collapse? Will you get caught in a lahar? Will the plastic sealing on your house be enough to keep you from inhaling enough fine particulate to cough yourself to death with the abrasions?



posted on Jan, 6 2014 @ 12:34 PM
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reply to post by Char-Lee
 


I think we'd have to consider who 'they' is in this case. They would be park rangers, geologists and other natural sciences. Basically the people most likely to love nature first and their career, second. I'd never expect the number of people who would see it coming to remain silent. Far too many live and work around this whole topic to ever be a subtle thing.

.....unless we have super volcanoes that we don't even know about in the deep oceans. (or only a few know about)

I wonder....If Yellowstone dropped deposits of ash in modern Kansas up to 20 ft deep for spots (they mine it in places, from what I've read)...what would that power do if unleashed 20,000 feet down in the mid Pacific or some other BIG body of water? Water doesn't compress..it simply moves..right? So would that be a 0 warning to the biggest Tsunami imaginable or ..?



posted on Jan, 6 2014 @ 12:37 PM
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Wrabbit2000


I wonder....If Yellowstone dropped deposits of ash in modern Kansas up to 20 ft deep for spots (they mine it in places, from what I've read)...what would that power do if unleashed 20,000 feet down in the mid Pacific or some other BIG body of water? Water doesn't compress..it simply moves..right? So would that be a 0 warning to the biggest Tsunami imaginable or ..?


I hear drowning is one of the most peacefull ways to go.


Beats the slow painfull hell of a life in a world after a super volcano!



posted on Jan, 6 2014 @ 12:38 PM
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reply to post by Wrabbit2000
 


Are you thinking about things like the TAMU massif? It's extinct, but if it took them this long to find it, how many others are there and are they all extinct?



posted on Jan, 6 2014 @ 12:41 PM
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reply to post by crazyewok
 


Ahh... but would you really prefer that? I'm not sure you'd drown near fast enough if you happened to 'hang 10' on a few hundred feet worth of incoming tidal wave.

I'm thinking about the Kennedy rolling over the White House in 2012. (He came back! Sorta..lol).

It had just hit me though. Talk about the ultimate contest of immovable force meeting irresistible object. The force of the planet pushing upward into the unthinkable weight of the water above. I'm thinking that's something best seen from the I.S.S., a couple hundred miles above it.



posted on Jan, 6 2014 @ 12:44 PM
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well, just because they better understand
just what leads to the eruption, doesnt mean it will
happen anytime soon.

even tho Yellowstone is well over due



posted on Jan, 6 2014 @ 12:56 PM
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Char-Lee
reply to post by gatorboi117
 


If and when they actually believe they know one of these will erupt, at what point do we think we would get a warning.
Personally I doubt they would say anything, people would have to read the signs themselves such as increases quakes and leave on their own.



I'm of the opinion that we would start to hear chatter and rumors as the scientists began to piece the information together. After international teams were able to confirm, I think local, state, national and international entities would issue warnings and advisories.

I think National Guard units would be called in nation-wide as materials were transported throughout the States to prepare for the aftermath.

I think we would see a massive evacuation, or attempted-evacuation, of the states that were going to be nearly wiped out by the eruption. There would be few places for the refugees to flee to, due to most people preparing to shelter in place at their own homes.

I think we would see an international effort trying to not only ready their own countries for the impending winter (that could last a decade), but also to try to assist the US in whatever way they could.

The weeks, or even just days, leading up to an eruption at Yellowstone, we would see wide-spread martial law declared across the U.S. Grocery stores and gas stations would sell out quick, delivery trucks would have a near-impossible time crossing the country due to the throngs of masses blocking up the interstates and highways trying to evacuate SOMEWHERE, most likely South to have a fighting chance.

Warning would be issued, panic would set in, and our nation would be forever changed. And that's why I think that any official warning will ONLY be given if the government can declare with 100% certainty of an impending eruption.



posted on Jan, 6 2014 @ 01:12 PM
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reply to post by Wrabbit2000
 

O wow, I didn't know there was so many super volcanos




posted on Jan, 6 2014 @ 01:20 PM
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I can't help but to wonder if geologists are are able to predict the big hit, then will they be silenced on alerting the public if such an event was to come?



posted on Jan, 6 2014 @ 01:21 PM
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reply to post by gatorboi117
 


Ice ages are a very regular occurrence every 15k-25k years in the last 500k years. Science does not have a solid hypothesis. We are at about 18k now.

All you warming deniers must be praying for an event to offset all the CO2 and methane flooding into the atmosphere.

That's nice. Meanwhile we've got a system going non-linear on the warm side. pray harder.



posted on Jan, 6 2014 @ 01:32 PM
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reply to post by ketsuko
 





Considering that they warn people about hurricanes now and try to evacuate them, I'm guessing that there are even odds that they would try to do something to warn people about an impending eruption of one of these.


I hope you are right, but this is a much greater responsibility to be right if you warn. Masses of people would have to be moved not seek shelter.



posted on Jan, 6 2014 @ 01:33 PM
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reply to post by InverseLookingGlass
 


No, actually, and there is no evidence that a supervolcano would cause the next ice age. It's speculation that it could provide a tipping point if it happened at the wrong time, but if Tambora and Krakatoa and Santorini didn't tip us into ice ages, then why should there be any reason to think the next one will, especially if you are correct and we are experiencing AGW?

Of course, if the warming is a consequence of entirely natural cycles and man's contributions are merely negligible and we are now entering a cycle of cooling on top of a period of decreased solar activity ... well, we may be standing at that tipping point. Who knows? One thing is for sure - science definitely doesn't know for certain, so neither does anyone else. Not until it all falls out one way or another.



posted on Jan, 6 2014 @ 01:35 PM
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reply to post by Wrabbit2000
 





think we'd have to consider who 'they' is in this case. They would be park rangers, geologists and other natural sciences. Basically the people most likely to love nature first and their career, second. I'd never expect the number of people who would see it coming to remain silent.


Very true, but people have the tendency to ......wait. Wait until the governing powers say it is so.
I can only hope many would go with the warning of the people you describe. I would think there would be a lot of activity first such as earthquakes, and yet people if they are not seeing it themselves or told by the government usually wait.



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