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Supervolcano eruptions can wipe out civilization

New Delhi: A study has found that the eruption of a supervolcano hundreds of times more powerful than conventional volcanoes, with the potential to wipe out civilisation as we know it, is more likely than
India TV News Desk January 08, 2014 6:44 IST
India TV News Desk
New Delhi: A study has found that the eruption of a supervolcano hundreds of times more powerful than conventional volcanoes, with the potential to wipe out civilisation as we know it, is more likely than previously thought.

A team of geologists from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH) modeled a supervolcano – such as Yellowstone in Wyoming – using synthetic magma heated up with a high-energy X-ray to see what could create a powerful discharge.  

A separate international team, led by Luca Caricchi of the University of Geneva, conducted more than 1.2 million computer simulations of eruptions.

Both groups have arrived at similar conclusions, with two studies simultaneously published in Nature Geoscience magazine.

It was previously thought that supervolcanoes – which spew out hundreds more times of lava and ash than ordinary ruptures – could be triggered by earthquakes or other outside tectonic phenomena.