Scientists identified the most powerful volcanic eruption in human history 02/28/2024, 21:45

Japanese volcanologists from Kobe University have detected the largest volcanic eruption in human history. This turned out to be the Kikai-Akahoya underwater eruption that occurred 7,300 years ago off the west coast of Japan. The study was published in the scientific journal broadcasting Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research (JVGR).

It is known that the Kikai volcano located at the base has caused three major eruptions in the last 14 thousand years. The most powerful was the last one, when twice as much stone and ash were thrown into the depths than the previous record holder, Mount Tambora in Indonesia in 1815.

In the new study, researchers collected seismic data to create a detailed map of the seafloor around the volcano. The map revealed vast underwater sediments, which the team sampled by drilling into the seafloor in several locations using a remote-controlled robot and extracting sediment cores.

Sediments brought to the surface revealed a 4,500 square kilometer layer containing volcanic glass, consistent with the composition and timing of the Kikai-Akahoya eruption. Glass and other volcanic debris accounted for approximately 71 cubic kilometers of material thrown into the sea by the eruption; this was almost double the estimates published in previous scientific papers.

Volcanologists combined these results with existing estimates of volcanic debris resulting from the eruption and deposited on land. They found that the massive explosion ejected some 457 cubic kilometers of material. This amount is enough to fill Lake Tahoe, North America’s largest alpine lake, twice.

The Kikai-Akahoya eruption is second only to the prehistoric eruption. For example, 5,000 cubic kilometers of magma were ejected during the eruption of the Toba supervolcano in Sumatra 74 thousand years ago.

Previous scientists discovered Giant underwater volcanoes off the coast of South America.

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Source: Gazeta

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