Sunday, 13 February 2011

Scotland Has A Supervolcano

* I bet you thought over here in the UK you thought you were safe from things that affect the rest of the world didn't you ,after all there isn't ny volcanos over here is there ,think again what a lot of people didn't know is this "there is a supervolcano in scotland".It looks idilic doesnt it the same way as yellowstone does.

This is what a professor from the volcanic research committee has to say .

Professor Tom Plume PhD (51) of the EU Volcanic Research Committee has warned that the famous fault-line, known as the Great Glen, may be about to rip apart as a result of a Super Volcano, which has lain dormant for millions of years.

Fist sized plankton"Loch Ness lies on the Great Glen fault-line and its incredible depth (over 2km) has severely hampered our research project", said Professor Plume. Unlike some other projects, we need to be able to see right down through the earth's crust, but until recently, we have been restricted to dry land. Fortunately new developments with satellite laser topography sonar side-scanning techniques have enabled us to penetrate through the thick sludge that lies up to 400m thick at the loch's bottom. What we found shocked us: nematode worms and zooplankton the size of a human fist that seem to be feeding on thermal vents."

Ironically it was the discovery of the sulphur-feeding creatures that prompted Professor Plume to hire a special robot submarine capable of dropping through a thermal vent and searching beyond. "We found a very active thermal rupture in the sub-base of the loch", said Professor Plume, "further sonar probing showed large lava-filled caverns and pressure readings suggest that a major volcanic event may be about to occur. Tremors have been felt recently in parts of the Highlands of Scotland and it is understood that small seismic shocks often precipitate a major or catastrophic eartchquake or volcanic eruption."

For now, however, this fascinating Loch Ness research project continues to probe its bottom. Professor Plume cautiously suggests that Nessie may have managed to survive the ice age by swimming around the warm volcanic vents and feeding on the monster sized sulphur feeding worms and plankton. The volcano may be a relic from the time this area was part of the super-sized continent Pangea.

"It's just a theory", he said, "but our research has shown that Loch Ness still holds some incredible mysteries and there is little sign that they will be solved in the near future."

How safe do you feel now, do you feel like we have a better chance than the rest of the world everyone knows that so called dormant volcanos have a weird way of comming back to life who can tell what the planet will and can do ,the poleshift means that even tho "sometimes" the lay of the land looks the same its the underneath thousands of miles upon miles benath the surface that matters .But wait read more While ordinary volcanoes can kill thousands of people and destroy entire cities, it's thought a supervolcano could claim up to a billion lives and devastate continents.

It's very likely a super-eruption would shutdown airports worldwide.

"A super-eruption is the world's biggest bang", says Prof. Bill McGuire of the Benfield Greig Hazard Research Centre at the University of London. "It's a volcanic explosion big enough to dwarf all others and with a reach great enough to affect everyone on the planet".

Considering their destructive potential, it's a good thing super-eruptions are so rare – the last one happened in Toba, Indonesia, about 74,000 years ago. Geologists think these eruptions take place about every 50,000 years, which suggests one is overdue.

About 40 supervolcanoes are dotted across the globe. There are two in Britain – one in Glencoe, Scotland, the other in Scafell in the Lake District. However, most supervolcanoes, including those in Britain, burned out long ago.

Yellowstone, located in the western state, Wyoming, is a dormant supervolcano, which means a major eruption could happen in the future. But before you get worried, it's important to remember that most volcano experts say a Yellowstone super-eruption is probably a long way off, or it may never happen at all.

Super size: About 2.1 m years ago the Yellowstone supervolcano erupted 2,500 times more ash than Mount St Helens (pictured).

Read about the 1980 Mount St Helens eruption on BBC On This Day.

"It's far more likely, if there is an eruption, it'll be on a small scale, perhaps comparable to Mt St Helens," says volcano expert Prof. Steve Sparks of the University of Bristol.

Although they're called 'super', most people would have trouble spotting a supervolcano. Their main feature is a large magma chamber, which is an underground reservoir filled with flowing, hot rock under huge pressures.

Some stats on the Yellowstone supervolcano:

* A super-eruption would equal the force of 1,000 Hiroshima atomic bombs exploding every second.

* You could fit Tokyo, the world's biggest city, in Yellowstone national parks super-volcanic crater.

* Three super-eruptions at Yellowstone appear to have occurred on a 600,000-700,000 year cycle starting 2.1 million years ago. The most recent took place 640,000 years ago – suggesting Yellowstone is overdue for an eruption


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