The Earth’s surface is shaking; long cracks split the ground open; lava rivers are rapidly flowing down the slopes; explosions sound more and more often; rocks and other debris are flying into the air; the sky is darkened by the clouds of ash. Nah, it’s not a plot of a new disaster movie! It’s just geologists who decided to drill into a super-volcano.
Super-volcanoes get formed when gigantic volumes of scorching hot magma are trying to escape from deep underground. It rises close to the surface but can’t break through the Earth’s crust. The pressure keeps growing because more and more of it is trying to get to the surface. Until – bang! – a super-eruption occurs!
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The most recent super-eruption 1:18
Is Yellowstone dangerous?! 2:29
The 1883 eruption of Krakatoa 3:40
Why some experts want to drill into a super-volcano 4:34
… and why other scientists have their doubts 6:22
Lusi mud volcano 8:46
#volcano #Yellowstone #brightside
– When supervolcanoes erupt, they blow more than 240 cubic miles of ash, molten rock, and hot gases up into the air.
– The most recent super-eruption took place in New Zealand around 26,500 years ago. That’s when a super-volcano beneath the surface of Lake Taupo blew more than 300 cubic miles of ash and pumice into the air.
– But the age of super-volcanoes isn’t over. The most infamous of them all is probably the one in Yellowstone National Park.
– If this monster erupted anywhere as strong as it did 2.1 million years ago, it would spit out more than 600 cubic miles of red-hot stuff!
– Anyway, scientists are sure that Yellowstone doesn’t present any danger these days.
– New Zealand’s Taupo you already know about, Japan’s Aira Caldera, California’s Long Valley, Indonesia’s Toba — any of them can one day entertain us with a super-eruption!
– Anyway, what devastates scientists the most is how little they know about super-volcanoes. Because those aren’t just some overgrown fire mountains — no, they are way more complicated than that.
– Experts are still unsure about the processes that trigger them, especially since super-eruptions don’t take place more often than every 50,000 years or so.
– One daring project includes making a 6-mile-deep hole that would reach the belly of a super-volcano and pump down cold pressurized water.
– It’s supposed to nail two birds with one stone: cool the volcano down and produce green energy!
– Even though the idea of drilling a hole in a super-volcano seems to have its own benefits, many physicists, geologists, and even politicians have their doubts.
– In the worst-case scenario, it may even trigger a full-blown volcano eruption! And you already know what the results of such an event can be: from fountains of lava and avalanches of molten rocks to climate changes all over the globe!
– In 2006, the world’s largest mud volcano Lusi in Indonesia erupted, sending tons of boiling water, gas, and mud in the air.
– Some experts claimed that the reason for the disaster was nearby oil drilling that could provoke the eruption.
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