This is the End
Puyehue - Chile Super Volcano
“Apocalyptic” seems the best word to describe the images now emerging of ongoing eruptions at the Puyehue volcano range in southern Chile. Eruptions began after an ominous series of earthquakes on June 4, resulting in heavy ash falls, including in Argentine towns up to 100km away. The phenomenon of eruptions producing such dramatic lightning storms was first observed in 2007. The last time Puyehue erupted was in 1960.
Super Volcanoes Defined
Is a volcano capable of producing a volcanic eruption with an ejecta volume greater than 1,000 km3 (240 cu mi). This is thousands of times larger than normal volcanic eruptions. Supervolcanoes can occur when magma in the mantle rises into the crust from a hotspot but is unable to break through the crust. Pressure builds in a large and growing magma pool until the crust is unable to contain the pressure. They can also form at convergent plate boundaries (for example, Toba) and continental hotspot locations (for example, the Yellowstone Caldera). Although there are only a handful of Quaternary supervolcanoes, supervolcanic eruptions typically cover huge areas with lava and volcanic ash and cause a long-lasting change to weather (such as the triggering of a small ice age) sufficient to threaten species with extinction.
Simulation of the super volcano in Yellowstone
Simulated photograph based off a super volcanic eruption
Cause of the ice age and death of the dinosaurs was effects of super volcanoes
Yellowstone super volcano a threat again?
An analysis of the molten rock within the dormant supervolcano beneath Yellowstone National Park in the United States has revealed that an eruption is possible without any external trigger, scientists said. Scientists previously believed many supervolcanic eruptions needed earthquakes to break open the Earth’s crust so magma could escape. But new research suggests that this can happen as a result of the build-up of pressure.
A global disaster never witnessed by modern man may one day mushroom above the pine forests and hot springs of Yellowstone National Park in the United States. While ordinary volcanoes can kill thousands of people and destroy entire cities, it's thought a supervolcano could claim up to a billion lives and devastate continents.
Unlike traditional volcanoes, which are easily identifiable by their mountainous shape, supervolcanoes lurk far underneath the Earth's surface. They contain huge bulbs of molten magma, some over 100km long, which periodically explode, covering huge areas with ash hundreds of meters deep which scars the lungs of any animal breathing it in. Around 20 supervolcanoes have been discovered under the Earth's surface and when they blow the results can be catastrophic. The Lake Toba supervolcano in Indonesia erupted around 74,000 years ago and is estimated to have wiped out over two thirds of the human population at the time and dropped global temperatures by 10 degrees Celsius for a decade or more.
The ash cloud spreading through the sky after the eruption of Puyehue on June 5.
The giant ash cloud produced by the eruption of Puyehue on June 5.
Volcanic lightning mixing in the volcanic ash from Puyehue on June 5.