Guest Video: A Real Supereruption, Modeled


You’re probably supereruptioned to death, what with multiple portrayals of those — geological violence sells! — in movies from many studios, including some in Hollywood (sorry about the ad) and London.

I’ll show the BBC’s version of a supereruption since their 2005 portrayal of such an eruption (though not the underlying plumbing) actually came close to the 2021 model scientists made and that the New Zealand Museum posted online.

Of course there’s more personal drama in it:



But it is even more dramatic, I think, to see how volcanologists picture a supereruption.

They used for their model data in the geological record from the world’s most recent megacolossal blast, some 26,000 years ago at Taupo, in New Zealand.

Check it out, and if you like, compare it to the BBC’s imagination (which I remember reading was developed with help from the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory).



Long stretches of time pass between supereruptions at a volcano, which will also have “normal” eruptions along the way. So the next supereruption, whenever it occurs, will probably not be at Taupo again — but it likely will look something like that.


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