Super Volcanoes

Super volcanoes is a term used to describe the largest and most destructive volcanic eruptions. These volcanoes produce at least 240 cubic miles of pyroclastic material during an eruption. These gigantic eruptions occur rarely and there has not been one in recorded history.

Lake Toba site of a super volcanic eruption. Photo provided by Tropen Museum

Lake Toba site of a super volcanic eruption.
Photo provided by Tropen Museum

Yellowstone Supervolcano

The most famous volcano in the United States is located in Yellowstone National Park. The site has three overlapping calderas formed during great eruptions. Each caldera eruption produced a slightly different type of welded tuff.

The last volcanic eruption in Yellowstone created Yellowstone Caldera. The magma chamber beneath Yellowstone National Park creates the unique features found at the park. Geysers, fumaroles and hot springs would not occur if the magma chamber was deeper or was the size of magma chambers found in subduction zones.

Lake Toba

Lake Toba in Sumatra, Indonesia was the site of a supervolcano eruption that some scientists think almost wiped out the human race.

Pyroclastic flows swept out of the super volcano covering 20,000 square kilometers with thick deposits of welded tuff. Ash near the volcano's vent is 2000 feet thick. The ash layer covered the entire subcontinent of India to a depth of six inches.

Long Valley Caldera

Mammoth Lakes ski area in California was the site of supervolcano eruptions which formed Long Valley. Long Valley formed when the magma chamber beneath the volcano collapsed forming an elliptical depression in the ground 10 x 20 miles in size.

The caldera has been swelling in recent years causing the floor of the valley to dome upward. New magma moving into the magma chamber causes the swelling. When the magma moves to other parts of the chamber the caldera deflates and the valley floor subsides.


More Volcano Links

Yellowstone Caldera The Yellowstone Caldera is the location of three supervolcano eruptions.

Iceland Volcanoes  Find out more about Grimsvotn volcano, Hekla volcano and Katla volcano which are the most dangerous volcanoes on Iceland. 

Composite Volcano  Composite volcanoes are volcanic mountains that form on the continental side of subduction zones. 

Super Volcanoes  Super volcanoes are places where massive volcanic eruptions occur. These eruptions can alter the weather and cause mini ice ages.


Dome Volcano  A lava dome is small and often forms inside the caldera of a stratovolcano. 

Volcano Facts  Find out lots of fascinating facts and trivia about volcanoes on this webpage.

Home Page  The Science Site contains information on our planet, volcanoes, science projects, earthquakes and much more.



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