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Geologists Reveal Secrets Behind Supervolcano Eruption

Breaking Earth News: USA
Photo: A piece supervolcano and extracted quartz crystals analyzed for titanium

March 06, 2007
Science Daily — Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have discovered what likely triggered the eruption of a "supervolcano" that coated much of the western half of the United States with ash fallout 760,000 years ago.
Using a new technique developed at Rensselaer, the team determined that there was a massive injection of hot magma underneath the surface of what is now the Long Valley Caldera in California some time within 100 years of the gigantic volcano's eruption. The findings suggest that this introduction of hot melt led to the immense eruption that formed one of the world's largest volcanic craters or calderas.
The research, which is featured in the March 2007 edition of the journal Geology, sheds light on what causes these large-scale, explosive eruptions, and it could help geologists develop methods to predict such eruptions in the future, according to David Wark, research professor of earth and environmental sciences at Rensselaer and lead author of the paper.

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