From 2012 Wiki
- For the docudrama, see Supervolcano (docudrama)
A supervolcano is a volcano that produces the largest and most voluminous kinds of eruption on Earth. The explosivity of such eruptions varies, but the volume of ejected tephra is enough to radically alter the landscape and severely affect global climate for years, with cataclysmic consequences for life (see also volcanic winter).
 Word origin
The term was originally coined by the producers of the BBC popular science program, Horizon, in 2000 to refer to these types of eruption.  That investigation brought the subject more into the public eye, leading to further studies of the possible effects.
- At first, supervolcano was not a technical term used in volcanology, but more recently, in 2003 and 2004, the term has been used in articles.
- Though there is no well-defined minimum explosive size for a "supervolcano", there are at least two types of volcanic eruption that have been identified as supervolcanoes: massive eruptions and large igneous provinces.
 Large igneous provinces
A large igneous province (LIP) is an extensive region of basalts on a continental scale, resulting from flood basalt eruptions. When created, these regions often occupy several million km² and have volumes on the order of 1 million km³. In most cases, the majority of this is laid down over an extended but geologically sudden period of about several million years.
 Massive eruptions
VEI-8 eruptions are so powerful that they form circular calderas rather than mountains because the downward collapse of land at the eruption site fills emptied space in the magma chamber beneath. The caldera can remain for millions of years after all volcanic activity at the site has ceased.
 Known eruptions
VEI-8 volcanic events have included eruptions at the following locations. Estimates of the volume of erupted material are given in parentheses.
- Lake Taupo, North Island, New Zealand - Oruanui eruption 26,500 years ago (1,170 km³)
- Lake Toba, Sumatra, Indonesia - 75,000 years ago (2,800 km³)
- Yellowstone Caldera, Wyoming, United States - 2.2 million years ago (2,500 km³) and 640,000 years ago (1,000 km³)
- La Garita Caldera, Colorado, United States - Source of the truly enormous eruption of the Fish Canyon Tuff 27.8 million years ago (~5,000 km³)
The Lake Toba eruption plunged the Earth into a volcanic winter, eradicating an estimated 60%    of the human population (although humans managed to survive even in the vicinity of the volcano ), and was responsible for the formation of sulfuric acid in the atmosphere.
Many other supermassive eruptions have also occurred in the geological past. Those listed below measured 7 on the VEI scale. Most of these were larger than Tambora's eruption in 1815 (160 km³), which was the largest eruption in recorded history.
- Aira Caldera, Kyūshū, Japan - 22,000 years ago (110 km³)
- Aso, Kyūshū, Japan - four large explosive eruptions between 300,000 to 80,000 years ago (Total volume 600 km³)
- Kikai Caldera, Ryukyu Islands, Japan - 6,300 years ago (150 km³ (bulk volume))
- Lake Taupo, North Island, New Zealand - 181 AD (100 km³)
- Long Valley Caldera, California, United States - 760,000 years ago (600 km³)
- Valle Grande, New Mexico, United States - 1.12 million years ago (~600 km³)
- Yellowstone Caldera, Wyoming, United States - 1.3 million years ago (280 km³)
- Bennett Lake Volcanic Complex, British Columbia/Yukon, Canada - 50 million years ago (850 km³)
- Bruneau-Jarbidge, Idaho, United States - 10-12 million years ago (>250 km³) (responsible for the Ashfall Fossil Beds 1,600 km to the east)
- Campi Flegrei, Naples, Italy - 12,000 years ago (Could be as much as 300 km³)
 Media portrayal
A National Geographic documentary called Earth Shocks portrayed the destructive impact of the rapid eruption of Lake Toba some 75,000 years ago, which caused a phenomenon known as the Millennial Ice Age that lasted for 1000 years and wiped out more than 60%  of the global population of the time.
An eruption of the Yellowstone supervolcano was originally one of the scenarios depicted in the docu-drama End Day, but was excluded from all airings to date for unknown reasons and is only presently mentioned at the show's BBC website (dead as of May 18, 2007; Internet Archive version).
In 2005, a two-part television docudrama entitled Supervolcano was shown on BBC, the Discovery Channel, and other television networks worldwide. It looked at the events that could take place if the Yellowstone supervolcano erupted. It featured footage of volcano eruptions from around the world and computer-generated imagery depicting the event. According to the program, such an eruption would have devastating effect across the globe and would cover virtually all of the United States with at least 1 cm of volcanic ash, causing mass destruction in the nearby vicinity and killing plants and wildlife across the continent. The dramatic elements in the program were followed by Supervolcano: The Truth About Yellowstone, a documentary about the evidence behind the movie. The program had originally been scheduled to be aired in early 2005, but it was felt that this would be insensitive so soon after the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake. The program and its accompanying documentaries were released on DVD region 2 simultaneously with its broadcast.
 See also
 External links
- Overview and Transcript of the original BBC program
- Yellowstone Supervolcano and Map of Supervolcanoes Around The World
- USGS Fact Sheet - Steam Explosions, Earthquakes, and Volcanic Eruptions - What's in Yellowstone's Future?
- Discovery Channel's site on "Supervolcano"
- Scientific American's The Secrets of Supervolcanoes
- Survive 2012 - Supervolcanoes
- Template:Imdb titlede:Supervulkan