Centuries of warning of a supervolcano eruption - with zoomable map of top seven supervolcanoes
A study at the universe of Illionois shows that it would take anywhere from centuries to thousands of years for a magma chamber to change enough to permit a supervolcano. Our potential supervolcanoes are all monitored by volcanologists and none of them show any signs of this process. We would have plenty of warning because the ground would be lifted not just by meters but by tens to hundreds of meters before the eruption. The study found that this process would most likely take many of our human lifetimes, according to a study at the University of Illinois
"When new magma starts to rejuvenate a supervolcano system, we can expect to see massive uplift, faulting and earthquake activity," Gregg said. "Far greater than the meter-scale events we have seen in recent time. We are talking on the range of tens to hundreds of meters of uplift. Even then, our models predict that the system would inflate for hundreds to thousands of years before we witness catastrophic eruption."
“People need to keep in mind that sites like Yellowstone are very well-monitored,” Cabaniss said. “It is also important to note that our research suggests that the whole rejuvenation-to-eruption process will take place over several or more human lifetimes. Our models indicate that there should be plenty of warning.”
So, none of these are likely to erupt in the next few centuries because we haven’t seen the build up for an eruption.
Where can we expect the next supervolcano?
Although there are no signs of supervolcano eruptions anywhere in the world yet, it’s going to happen eventually. World wide, you get between 22 and 1.4 eruptions every million years (rather variable). So, some time within the next few tens of thousands of years to a million years, we can expect a super volcano eruption. Yellowstone isn’t the only supervolcano in the world. The top ones are shown on this map:
- Click on any of the pointers for summary of information about it, and right click anywhere on the map except the pointers, to copy the map coordinates of that point.
- Yellowstone Caldera, Wyoming - probably won’t erupt for 1000 years or more, last one 640,000 years go.
- Long Valley Caldera, California - not likely to erupt
- Valles Caldera, New Mexico - not likely to erupt
- Lake Toba, Indonesia - erupted 73,000 years ago - largest super volcano eruption for 2.8 million years, caused a “Volcanic winter” worldwide for 6 years. But no activity in recent times, not likely to erupt.
- Taupo, New Zealand - last super eruption 26,500 years ago, could do so again
- Campi Flegrei, Italy -Magma chamber active, not about to erupt but could be prelude. It is not ready to collapse right now and is closely monitored. Likely to be centuries to millennia before a collapse if one is possible at all. it may have ended that phase too.
- Aira caldera, Japan - is now erupting through Mount Sakurajima, - and not able to go supervolcano
- Study suggests ample warning of supervolcano eruptions News Bureau, ILLINOIS - the study press release.
- What are some examples of supervolcanoes? - USGS FAQ
Links to associated blogs
- What really happens if Yellowstone erupts as a supervolcano, or if some other supervolcano erupts? - on my Debunking Doomsday blog (which also covers the Toba supervolcano 75,000 years ago).
- No, Yellowstone Is Not Going To Erupt As A Supervolcano Soon. No, It Can’t Destroy Mankind!
- Why we don’t need to worry about the Steamboat Geyser in Yellowstone - a chance to see it if you visit Yellowstone, that’s all
- Campi Flegrei is not ready to collapse - thousands of years into the future most likely - also not quite a supervolcano
Nathan Smith’s debunks based on his correspondence with the director of the Yellowstone Volcanic Observatory: