“Cluster of Alaskan Islands Could be Single, Interconnected Giant Volcano,” reads the headline. A super-volcano, in other words.
We’re talking about a super-volcano even bigger than Okmok, also located in the Aleutians.
Scientists believe that Okmok’s eruption in the year 43 BCE triggered crop failures and famine around the Mediterranean Sea, which contributed to the fall of the Roman Republic.
We’re talking about a super-volcano that could trigger a volcanic winter.
According to a press release from the American Geophysical Union (AGU), a small group of volcanic islands in Alaska’s Aleutian chain might be part of a single, undiscovered giant volcano, say scientists presenting the findings Monday, 7 December at AGU’s Fall Meeting 2020.
If the researchers’ suspicions are correct, the newfound volcanic caldera would belong to the same category of volcanoes as the Yellowstone Caldera and other volcanoes that have had super-eruptions with severe global consequences.
The Islands of the Four Mountains in the central Aleutians is a tight group of six stratovolcanoes named Carlisle, Cleveland, Herbert, Kagamil, Tana and Uliaga. Stratovolcanoes are what most people envision when they think of a volcano: a steep conical mountain with a banner of clouds and ash waving at the summit. They can have powerful eruptions, like that of Mount St. Helens in 1980, but these are dwarfed by far less frequent caldera-forming eruptions.
Researchers from a variety of institutions and disciplines have gathered multiple pieces of evidence showing that the islands could belong to one interconnected caldera.
Even larger than Okmok
Caldera-forming eruptions are the most explosive volcanic eruptions on Earth and they often have had global effects. The ash and gas they put into the atmosphere can affect Earth’s climate and trigger social upheaval. For example, the eruption of nearby Okmok volcano in the year BCE 43 has been recently implicated in the disruption of the Roman Republic. The proposed caldera underlying the Islands of the Four Mountains would be even larger than Okmok. If confirmed, it would become the first in the Aleutians that is hidden underwater, said Diana Roman of the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington, D.C., co-author of the study.
via Ice Age Now
December 8, 2020 at 10:57AM