Human Populations survived the Toba volcanic super-eruption 74,000 years ago

The Toba super-eruption was one of the largest volcanic events over the last two million years, about 5,000 times larger than Mount St. Helen’s eruption in the 1980s. The eruption occurred 74,000 years ago on the island of Sumatra, Indonesia, and was argued to have ushered in a “volcanic winter” lasting six to ten years, … Read more Human Populations survived the Toba volcanic super-eruption 74,000 years ago

Formation of a huge underwater volcano offshore the Comoros

A new submarine volcano was formed off the island of Mayotte in the Indian Ocean in 2018. This was shown by an oceanographic campaign in May 2019. Now an international team led by the scientist Simone Cesca from the German GeoForschungsZentrum GFZ is illuminating the processes deep inside the earth before and during the formation … Read more Formation of a huge underwater volcano offshore the Comoros

Fossil shells reveal both global mercury contamination and warming when dinosaurs perished

The impact of an asteroid or comet is acknowledged as the principal cause of the mass extinction that killed off most dinosaurs and about three-quarters of the planet’s plant and animal species 66 million years ago. But massive volcanic eruptions in India may also have contributed to the extinctions. Scientists have long debated the significance … Read more Fossil shells reveal both global mercury contamination and warming when dinosaurs perished

Breathing? Thank volcanoes, tectonics and bacteria

Earth’s breathable atmosphere is key for life, and a new study suggests that the first burst of oxygen was added by a spate of volcanic eruptions brought about by tectonics. The study by geoscientists at Rice University offers a new theory to help explain the appearance of significant concentrations of oxygen in Earth’s atmosphere about … Read more Breathing? Thank volcanoes, tectonics and bacteria

New way to date rocks

A new way to date a common mineral could help pinpoint ore deposits and improve mineral exploration globally, according to University of Queensland scientists. The researchers have identified a new reference material and used a state-of-the-art instrument to better date rock formations in central Asia. UQ’s Professor Jian-xin Zhao said the team started by analysing … Read more New way to date rocks

Unearthing History: Boston College researchers and colleagues pinpoint the source of unique chemical composition of volcanic rocks

A new analysis has revealed the source of oxidation found in rock samples from the coast of Greece, where geological activity spawned explosive arc volcanoes about 45 million years ago, a team of researchers reports in the journal Nature Geoscience. Arc volcanic rocks are highly oxidized, which has led scientists to speculate that the fluids … Read more Unearthing History: Boston College researchers and colleagues pinpoint the source of unique chemical composition of volcanic rocks

Volcanic ash sparks a new discovery

Imagine you’re getting ready to fly to your favorite vacation destination when suddenly a volcano erupts, sending massive amounts of volcanic ash into the atmosphere, and forcing the cancellation of your flight. That’s exactly what happened in April 2010 when Eyjafjallajokull, a volcano in Iceland, erupted and disrupted air travel in Europe for six days. … Read more Volcanic ash sparks a new discovery

Early warning signals heralded fatal collapse of Krakatau volcano

On 22 December 2018, a flank of the Anak Krakatau volcano plunged into the Sunda strait between the Indonesian islands of Sumatra and Java, triggering a tsunami that killed 430 people. An international research team led by Thomas Walter of the German Research Centre for Geosciences GFZ in Potsdam has now shown that the volcano … Read more Early warning signals heralded fatal collapse of Krakatau volcano

New study investigates the role of Tambora eruption in the 1816 ‘year without a summer’

A new study has estimated for the first time how the eruption of Mount Tambora changed the probability of the cold and wet European ‘year without a summer’ of 1816. It found that the observed cold conditions were almost impossible without the eruption, and the wet conditions would have been less likely. 1816 recorded exceptionally … Read more New study investigates the role of Tambora eruption in the 1816 ‘year without a summer’

The India-Asia collision as seen from Myanmar

Researchers from the University of Rennes 1 / CNRS (France), the University of Washington (USA) and the Universities of Yangon and Shwebo (Myanmar) have obtained new paleomagnetic evidence that the Burma Microplate was located close to the equator between 95 and 40 million years ago. These results, published in Nature Geoscience, support a double collision … Read more The India-Asia collision as seen from Myanmar