New Scientist’s rather timely cover story this week looks at the eruption of supervolcano Toba, 74,000 years ago and the impact and scale of ash fall-out from it.
As New Scientist explains:
Toba is a supervolcano on the Indonesian island of Sumatra. It has blown its top many times but this eruption, 74,000 years ago, was exceptional. Releasing 2500 cubic kilometres of magma – nearly twice the volume of mount Everest – the eruption was more than 5000 times as large as the 1980 eruption of mount St Helens in the US, making it the largest eruption on Earth in the last 2 million years.
And illustrating things quite effectively is the following infographic. An effective way of showing the relative size of volcanic eruptions? Should the map have been global to Get Mt St Helens, Krakatoa and others on it? It would be interesting to see the Icelandic volcano with the unpronounceable name (Eyjafjallajokull) plotted on the graphic too…