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Mar 5 / Dave Schumaker

Secret revealed behind supervolcano eruptions?

longvalley.jpgTo continue with the latest news in the world of volcanoes: Scientists at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have discovered what caused the eruption of the Long Valley caldera in California 760,000 years ago.

To determine the cause of the eruption, scientists examined the distribution of titanium in quartz crystals of the Bishop Tuff, a massive welded tuff that formed as a pyroclastic flow cooled after the eruption. (I’m sure many of my fellow California geologists have spent many a field trip in the Owens Valley looking at the Bishop Tuff). The scientists believe that a massive injection of hot magma occurred within 100 years of the eruption.

While no one knows the cause of this injection of magma, the researchers believe that observing this sort of process may lead to a more accurate prediction and model of when supervolcanoes may next erupt.

The research is featured in this month’s journal of Geology.

Via Eurekalert.

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