Supervolcano  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

A supervolcano is a volcano capable of producing a volcanic eruption with ejecta greater than 1,000 cubic kilometers (240 cubic miles). This is thousands of times larger than most historic volcanic eruptions. Supervolcanoes can occur when magma in the Earth 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, Yellowstone).

The Discovery Channel highlighted six known supervolcanoes: the Yellowstone, Long Valley, and Valles Caldera in the United States; Lake Toba, North Sumatra, Indonesia; Taupo Volcano, North Island, New Zealand; and Aira Caldera, Kagoshima Prefecture, Kyūshū, Japan. Although there are only a handful of supervolcanoes, super volcanic 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 the extinction of species.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Supervolcano" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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