What are super volcanoes? Do any exist in the United States?



  1. 0 Votes

    Super volcanoes are unlike traditional volcanoes, in that they don’t need to be a mountain with lava erupting from the top. Instead, they can be what is called a “caldera” which a usually a very large piece of land that has a giant magma chamber underneath. Once the giant magma chamber builds up enough pressure, it will explode through the surface of the land. The size of the explosion can be miles across! 

    I believe there are two known super volcanoes in the United States– one in Yellowstone and one in Long Valley, which is at the base of the Eastern Sierra Nevada mountain range. Apparently, when the Long Valley caldera (or super volcano) erupted, it spread debris as far away as Montana (if I recall correctly). 

    If you haven’t seen it, the Discovery Channel had a great special on super volcanoes.

  2. 0 Votes

    A supervolcano is a volcano that, at one time, emitted more than 1,000 cubic kilometers of deposit. Supervolcanoes may have had, though, smaller eruptions in their history. In the United States, Yellowstone, Long Valley, and Valles Caldera are all known supervolcanoes, three of at least six worldwide — Yellowstone is the most famous.

  3. 0 Votes

    There is no exact definition for what differentiates a super volcano from normal volcano, but n general it is a term detailing which volcanoes have produced exceptionally large eruptions in the past.  Additionally, super volcanoes often have no mountain peak associated with it.  The United States has one of the largest super volcanoes on the planet in Yellowstone Park.  It is this super volcano that triggers the geysers of Yellowstone like Old Faithful.

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