Q:

What is a super volcano?

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Quick Answer

A super volcano is a volcano that has the potential of creating more than 1,000 cubic kilometers of ash, pumice, and lava during a single eruption. Super volcanoes erupt very rarely and may go hundreds of thousands of years between eruptions.

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Full Answer

Unlike smaller volcanoes, which form a cone, super volcanoes form a depression known as a caldera. The most recent eruption of a super volcano is thought to have occurred 27,000 years ago near the center of New Zealand's north island. Other super volcanoes can be found in Indonesia, Eastern California and Yellowstone National Park, which is thought to have had three eruptions in the past three million years.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is an ash cloud?

    A:

    An ash cloud is a large cloud of smoke and debris that forms over a volcano after it erupts. Ash clouds consist of several elements, including ash, gases, dust, steam, rock fragments and other materials that come from inside the volcano and combine in the air above the crater.

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  • Q:

    What is a quiet volcano called?

    A:

    A quiet volcano is considered dormant. Dormant volcanoes are volcanoes that have not actively erupted in the past 10,000 years, but still have the potential to erupt at some point.

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  • Q:

    What is a basaltic volcano?

    A:

    When classifying volcanoes by lava composition, basaltic volcanoes are ones in which lava is composed of mostly basaltic rock. Basalt is the most common rock in the Earth's crust. Andesite and rhyolite are other common components of lava.

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  • Q:

    How is a volcano made?

    A:

    A volcano is any place where magma from the Earth's interior breaks through its surface, as explained by How Stuff Works. Magma is molten rock that is partially liquid, partially solid and partially gaseous. Interaction between the plates that form the Earth's crust is one of the primary catalysts for creating magma.

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