10Subduction zones are where we find typical volcanic mountains, either on land or in the oceans.
11Rift Valleys (like in Africa) Divergent BoundariesMid-ocean RidgesRift Valleys (like in Africa)
12Mid-ocean ridges are divergent boundaries but can also be places of volcanic activity.
13Notice the volcanoes in the African Rift Valley, also a divergent boundary
14What about volcanoes that are not near plate boundaries, like the Hawaiian Islands? These are called “hotspots”.
15Hotspots, like Hawaii. are places where heat from deep within the Earth can penetrate through a plate.
16Hotspots are believed to originate from very deep within the earth, from the core itself.
17Because the Pacific plate is slowly moving over the hotspot, the row of islands represent the formation of them over many millions of years. So which island is the youngest and which is the oldest?
18There have been many hotspots identified on the Earth There have been many hotspots identified on the Earth. A few are actually on plate boundaries, but they can occur anywhere.
19Some important or otherwise interesting volcanoes.
20Mount Saint Helens May 18, 1980 Washington State, USA. Largest volcano in North America in modern times.57 people killed in spite of months of warnings.How do volcanologists know when a volcano might be ready to erupt?Click for video 3:33
21Largest volcanic eruption in recorded history (the last 5,000 years or so). Loudest sound recorded history.Sound reverberated around the world for seven days.Over 6000 people killed.Most died from the incredible tsunami it created (100’).Made water slosh as far away as the English Channel.There are no pictures of it…because it is literally gone.Krakatoa August 22, 1883
22Even bigger. If the amount of stuff ejected from Mt Even bigger? If the amount of stuff ejected from Mt. Saint Helens was the size of a pea, then the stuff ejected from Krakatoa would be the size of a golf ball. For this next volcano, the last time it erupted the amount of stuff would have been equal to a ball with a six foot diameter…
23So where is the LARGEST, MOST DANGEROUS active volcano known in the world today?
27Yellowstone is known as a SUPERVOLCANO. What is a SUPERVOLCANO Yellowstone is known as a SUPERVOLCANO. What is a SUPERVOLCANO? (Exactly what the name implies.) When was the last supervolcano to erupt?
28TobaToba is in Sumatra. This is what it looks like today – the caldera is a massive lake called Lake Toba.It was the last time a supervolcano erupted on Earth, and that was 74,000 years ago.This eruption brought humans to the brink of extinction (only a few thousand people on Earth believed to survived).Caused at least six years of “volcanic winter”.It was a whopper. A supervolcano is practically inconceivable.
29And Yellowstone is even more dangerous. The entire park is the crater (caldera) – 1500 sq. miles, 40 miles across, 8 miles thick.A massive magma chamber rests directly underneath the park. It is one giant HOTSPOT. (The only hotspot found on land.)That explains the spectacular geysers and hot springs.
30Yellowstone is a beautiful place, even if it is the world’s most dangerous volcano.
32History of eruptions. Last eruption was 640,000 years ago. (It was 1000x bigger than Mount Saint Helens.)The one before that was 1.3 million years ago.(It was 280x bigger than MSH.)The one before that was 2.1 million years ago.(That one was X bigger than MSH, which is unbelievable.)
33Yellowstone has erupted at least 100 times in the last 16 Yellowstone has erupted at least 100 times in the last 16.5 million years. When will be the next one?
34Any time. Yellowstone erupts, on average, every 600,000 years Any time. Yellowstone erupts, on average, every 600,000 years. The last eruption was 640,000 years ago. It appears that Yellowstone is overdue... (Click for video 1:25)
35I don’t think anybody wants to be around when the next supervolcano erupts…