The Discovery of Super-Volcanoes

For decades, massive volcanoes have erupted all around the globe. For plenty of years, people considered volcanos as unpredictable. Scientists have put the pieces together and have been able to distinguish how and why large amounts of magma blow in volcanic super-eruptions. Scientists have concluded that the buoyancy pressure applied by enormous magma pools is the culprit of impactful volcanic occasions. When the buoyancy of the magma creates a large amount of pressure on the chamber roof, it explodes. The journal Nature Geoscience explains this reaction to be like a balloon inflated under water. “Because magma is less dense than the crust, this provides the same pressure that you have when you push an air balloon below water. The air balloon you put below water is less dense than the water around it. The parallel for magma chambers is the magma being less dense than the crust that is sitting around the chamber.” Volcanologist Luca Caricchi of the University of Geneva said. He believes that for smaller eruptions, they are caused by injection of magma. He quotes “It’s a little bit like if you blow in a tiny balloon, you can blow it up so fast that it can explode.”  Caricchi’s team conducted an experiment to replicate the volcanic occurrences. By creating the right pressure and temperature conditions, they were able to examine how these super-eruptions of volcanoes occur. They were able to show that buoyancy can form a pressure in which the roof of a magma chamber cannot handle. This could lead to cracking of the lithosphere.  The research team explains how there finding will not allow them to predict exactly when a volcano will erupt but, they can estimate a probability if it will explode within the next 100 years.

 -Gabriella Vazquez-

 http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-supervolcanoes 20140106,0,7475875.story#ixzz2pjGJYMEm

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