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Sioux Falls Scientists endorse Mystery of the Megavolcano for describing
some of the awesome power of giant volcanoes of the past.

Mystery of the Megavolcano

Mystery of the Megavolcano (2007) - 56 minutes
Mystery of the Megavolcano at Amazon.com

Could Ancient Supervolcanoes Reawaken with Catastrophic Consequences?

Scientists make a shocking discovery - far back in the past, monster volcanoes erupted with cataclysmic violence, far greater than Vesuvius, Pinatubo, Mount St. Helens or any other volcano in recorded human history. Puzzling results from three different laboratories send volcano sleuths on a worldwide hunt for evidence, from Greenland's ice cap to Sumatra's jungles.

The clues converge on an astounding possibility: that a single ancient eruption 75,000 years ago blasted ash and rock across an entire continent, spewing so much sulfuric acid into the atmosphere that Earth was plunged into a global deep freeze. But can they prove it? And could it happen again? Using vivid computer-generated imagery, follow the clues that reveal the biggest volcanic cataclysm in earth's history.

And if these scientists are right, the ancient supervolcano they locate - and others like it, including a behemoth lurking beneath Yellowstone National Park - may someday reawaken, with catastrophic consequences for our modern world.

1-22-22 What the Tonga volcano’s past tells us about what to expect next
The January 15 blast triggered atmospheric shock waves and a rare volcanic tsunami. On January 15, an underwater volcano in the island nation of Tonga erupted with the explosive force of a nuclear bomb, and it may not be done just yet. The eruption of Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Ha’apai volcano in the South Pacific launched a towering, mushroom-shaped cloud of ash and dust at least 20 kilometers into the atmosphere — and possibly as high as 39 kilometers by one estimate. The blast sent shock waves that are still rippling through the atmosphere a week later. Images show ash caked on Tonga islands, coating buildings, clinging to crops and probably contaminating water supplies. The power of the explosion also triggered a rare volcanic tsunami that raced across the ocean, inundating the densely populated island of Tongatapu 65 kilometers away from the eruption, sending residents fleeing to higher ground. At least three people have died due to the eruption and tsunami. The volcano may now return to a period of dormancy after releasing its fury. But it also might not. Researchers who have studied Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Ha’apai’s eruptive history, recorded in layers of hardened ash and fragments of volcanic pumice, say that this volcano has tended to erupt explosively every thousand years or so — and not just once, but in multiple pulses. Whether that will happen this time, and if so, when, is very difficult to say at this point, says Shane Cronin, a volcanologist at the University of Auckland in New Zealand. He has been working with colleagues to gather information on the volcano to help with relief efforts and predict what might come next. “Time will tell, and the next few days may tell us a lot,” he says. Tonga has no active seismometers — and communications from the island nation remain largely incapacitated by ashfall and flooding. But with the help of satellite images, Cronin and others are keeping close watch over the region, hunting for changes to the volcano’s shape or height or other indicators that may signal that magma might be on the move again.

8-30-17 Taking Earth’s pulse: How to predict eruptions from space
Taking Earth’s pulse: How to predict eruptions from space
Our planet’s inner stirrings manifest as moving bulges on the surface. Now an eye in the sky is watching them to help predict disasters and save lives. APART from the enormous tortoises and wealth of other wildlife, the Galapagos Islands are home to thousands of people. Some 200 live on Isabella Island, the archipelago’s largest landmass, which they share with Cerro Azul, an active volcano. So when scientists picked up signals suggesting the volcano was stirring, they were justifiably worried. The quiverings underneath the volcano were detected at the Geophysical Institute in Quito, Ecuador, in March. The scientists acted fast. First, to be on the safe side, they issued a warning to residents. Then they rang a team that they hoped could confirm if an eruption was imminent. While most geoscientists rely on ground-based measurements to help interpret the planet’s inner manoeuvres and rumblings, the crack squad on the end of the phone thinks it has a faster, better method. Earth’s hidden activities manifest themselves as subtle bulges and dips on its surface. So, find a way to follow such movements, and we would open a new window into the realm below. That could help us discover hidden fault lines, track the underground course of magma streams and learn how earthquakes change the delicate balance of Earth’s tectonic plates. More importantly, it could save lives. What happens in the bowels of the planet is a mystery, but we have a decent idea about the nature of the first few hundred kilometres beneath the surface. Tectonic plates, at most 250 kilometres thick, float on a layer of molten rock. Sometimes, those plates move suddenly against or away from each other, creating earthquakes. And at spots we call volcanoes, the liquid rock spills onto the surface.

12-19-16 Molten iron river discovered speeding beneath Russia and Canada
Molten iron river discovered speeding beneath Russia and Canada
A hot stream of molten iron that is 420 kilometres wide is moving westwards under North America and Siberia and has inexplicably tripled its speed over the past 15 years. Deep below our planet’s surface a molten jet of iron nearly as hot as the surface of the sun is picking up speed. This stream of liquid has been discovered for the first time by telltale magnetic field readings 3000 kilometres below North America and Russia taken from space. The vast jet stream some 420 kilometres wide has trebled in speed since 2000, and is now circulating westwards at between 40 and 45 kilometres per year deep under Siberia and heading towards beneath Europe. That is three times faster than typical speeds of liquid in the outer core. No one knows yet why the jet has got faster, but the team that discovered the accelerating jet thinks it is a natural phenomenon that dates back as much as a billion years, and can help us understand the formation of Earth’s magnetic fields that keeps us safe from solar winds.

12-19-16 Iron 'jet stream' detected in Earth's outer core
Iron 'jet stream' detected in Earth's outer core
Scientists say they have identified a remarkable new feature in Earth’s molten outer core. They describe it as a kind of "jet stream" - a fast-flowing river of liquid iron that is surging westwards under Alaska and Siberia. The moving mass of metal has been inferred from measurements made by Europe’s Swarm satellites. This trio of spacecraft are currently mapping Earth's magnetic field to try to understand its fundamental workings. The scientists say the jet is the best explanation for the patches of concentrated field strength that the satellites observe in the northern hemisphere. "This jet of liquid iron is moving at about fifty kilometres per year," explained Dr Chris Finlay from the National Space Institute at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU Space). “That might not sound like a lot to you on Earth's surface, but you have to remember this a very dense liquid metal and it takes a huge amount of energy to move this thing around and that's probably the fastest motion we have anywhere within the solid Earth,” he told BBC News.

4-28-16 Kingdom-busting volcanoes linked to the rise of the Roman Empire
Kingdom-busting volcanoes linked to the rise of the Roman Empire
Unrest that spelled the end of the Ptolemaic Kingdom, paving the way for the Roman Empire, may have been triggered by droughts caused by eruptions. You won’t find it in history textbooks, but the Roman Empire’s rise to dominance in Egypt and the Middle East may have been influenced by a series of volcanic eruptions that reduced rainfall. These eruptions could have contributed to the sabotage and destruction of the Ptolemaic Kingdom on the Nile, paving the way for the rise of Cleopatra and the Roman Empire – and, ultimately, the modern Western world.

4-15-16 Waking supervolcano makes North Korea and West join forces
Waking supervolcano makes North Korea and West join forces
Rare example of collaboration with isolationist regime's researchers helps reveal secrets of one of the world’s largest volcanoes. If it blows again, it could make Vesuvius look like a tea party. Now, in a ground-breaking collaboration between the West and North Korea, vulcanologists are gaining new insights into Mount Paektu, on North Korea’s border with China, and whether it might blow its top any time soon. If it does, the outcome could be catastrophic. Paektu’s last eruption, a thousand years ago, is the second largest ever recorded, topped only by the eruption of Mount Tambora in Indonesia in 1815. “If it erupted, it would have impacts way beyond Korea and China,” says James Hammond of Birkbeck, University of London, one of the scientists involved. In 946 AD, the eruption of Mount Paektu, Korea’s highest mountain, blasted 96 cubic kilometres of debris into the sky, 30 times more than the relatively puny 3.3 cubic kilometres that Vesuvius spewed over Pompeii in AD 79. Yet despite is size and the potential impact of an eruption, little is known about this enigmatic volcano.

Mystery of the Megavolcano

Sioux Falls Scientists endorse Mystery of the Megavolcano for describing
some of the awesome power of giant volcanoes of the past.