New scientific study finds ‘super-volcano’ eruptions can be triggered by quakes from surface faults

October 13, 2011CORVALLIS, Ore — Researchers have finally discovered the causes for ‘super-eruptions’ of volcanoes which are considered one of the most catastrophic natural events on Earth. The violent explosions which occur about every 100,000 years are now thought to be caused by a combination of temperature and the geometrical configuration of the magma chamber in the volcano. Scientists at Oregon State University presented the finding of their study, which was funded by the National Science Foundation, at the annual meeting of the Geological Society of America in Minneapolis. Patricia Gregg, a post-doctoral researcher at OSU and lead author on the modeling study, said the creation of a ductile halo of rock around the magma chamber allows the pressure to build over tens of thousands of years, resulting in extensive uplifting in the roof above the magma chamber. Eventually, faults from above trigger a collapse of the caldera and subsequent eruption. She said: ‘You can compare it to cracks forming on the top of baking bread as it expands, ‘As the magma chamber pressurizes at depth, cracks form at the surface to accommodate the doming and expansion.’ She added: ‘Eventually, the cracks grow in size and propagate downward toward the magma chamber. ‘In the case of very large volcanoes, when the cracks penetrate deep enough, they can rupture the magma chamber wall and trigger roof collapse and eruption,’ The eruption of super-volcanoes dwarfs the eruptions of recent volcanoes and can trigger planetary climate change by inducing Ice Ages and other impacts. One such event was the Huckleberry Ridge eruption of present-day Yellowstone Park about two million years ago, which was more than 2,000 times larger than the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens in Washington. Short of a meteor impact, these super-eruptions are the worst environmental hazards our planet can face,’ Gregg said. ‘Huge amounts of material are expelled, devastating the environment and creating a gas cloud that covers the globe for years.’ Previous modeling efforts have focused on an eruption trigger from within the magma chamber, which scientists thought would leave a visible trace in the form of a precursor eruption deposits, according to Shanaka ‘Shan’ de Silva, an OSU geologist and co-author on the study. Yet there has been a distinct lack of physical evidence for a pre-cursor eruption at the site of these super-volcanoes. The model suggests the reason there may be no precursor eruption is that the trigger comes from above, not from within, de Silva pointed out.Daily Mail
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15 Responses to New scientific study finds ‘super-volcano’ eruptions can be triggered by quakes from surface faults

  1. Luca says:

    6.0 earthquake near Bali Indonesia and also this just happened off the coast of Oregon a 5.9


  2. Tomwe says:

    Yellowstone is definitely scary!


  3. Leon chettri says:

    Very nice the way of imformation like it.


  4. Two items:
    1- there are usually many smaller eruptions in the Yellowstone area for every super-volcano, of various sizes,
    2- I think that the big ones are affected by water, or the lack of. Imagine the cracks mentioned going towards the hot magma chamber. At higher pressure, the boiling point of the water is raised quite a bit. At some point the heat could be enough to raise the vapor pressure high enough to start another crack , or extend a previous one. this might be enough to release the pressure to allow the water to now become steam – causing more pressure – causing more cracking – causing more movement… the result being that quite suddenly, the whole super-heated water system would turn to steam and… the super-volcano is started. I just hope that I am far enough upwind to miss the biggest effects of the first round of ash and dust.


  5. nickk0 says:

    Alvin –
    This ‘discovery’, is quite interesting, and also, rather disturbing ( in light of the recent ‘geologic activities’ at Nabro & the Great Rift Valley, as well as Iceland and the Mid-Atlantic ridge.)

    – Nick


    • I said it would happen and now I guess people are beginning to see it. On page 496, I put a magma plume map in my book which I began writing in 2009 and warned that this would be an early-warning indicator that earthchanges were accelerating.


  6. Charlotte says:

    The Second Coming of Jesus Christ will probably not happen for many more years… many events must happen first…..and they are beginning. As Alvin says, “buckle your seat belts.”
    We are separated from God every time we sin and we can be re-united through the absolution of repentance (true sorrow) and confession of our sins. When we die, as we all will, it is
    the end of the world for us. Because our purpose is to know, love, and serve God, NOW is the time to change our sinful habits, for death comes like a thief in the night, and Heaven and Hell do exist. At death, everyone will have an opportunity to embrace Jesus Christ as their Savior. Some will and some won’t. We will know where we belong when our conscience and our soul are shown to us. God is all merciful but he is also all just.


  7. radiogirl says:

    With every beat of one’s heart and every moment of the day….it matters what side your on.


  8. Just as Lucifer sought to make himself God, Napoleon took the crown from the pope and placed it on his own head, making himself emperor.Thus a parallel between the two.

    I would point out it doesn’t matter how many are on your side when the Russian rodina and winter come….


  9. Barb says:

    Re response to Danny Grim. I may be new to this journey but if I’m not mistaken Alvin, That sure sounded like A… Get Thee Hense Satan!. I could feel and hear the righteousness of anger. I believe you are alot more than what meets the eye. God bless you


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