A team of researchers working with the University of Utah recently went public with the news that, according to their investigations, a supervolcano is beginning to form under the Pacific Ocean.Should this volcano eventually erupt, the specialists are quite convinced that this event would mark the end of life as we know it.
For the time being, the only good news is that, all things considered, human society still has about 100 – 200 million years at its disposal before this volcano is ready and willing to erupt.
The scientists explain that this volcano's coming into being is the direct result of two or more continent-sized “piles” of rock moving towards one another and colliding.
This phenomenon is taking place roughly 1,800 miles beneath the earth's surface, at the bottom of our planet's thick mantle, Daily Mail reports.
As shown by several computer simulations, all this commotion is bound to translate into the formation of a Florida-sized region made up of partly molten rock. Once this happens, it comes as only natural that an eruption will take place.
“We did hundreds of simulations for lots of different variations of what the Earth might look like at the core-mantle boundary – the most simulations anybody has ever done to look at the core-mantle boundary structure,” explains Michael Thorner, the study's lead author.
“My study might be the first to show actual seismic evidence that the piles are moving. They move around on the core somewhat like continental plates drift at Earth’s surface,” he went on to add.
According to the same source, seismologist Michael Thorne wished to draw attention to the fact that, all things considered, such a large-scale volcanic eruption will have a major impact on our planet.
“What we may be detecting is the start of one of these large eruptive events that – if it ever happens – could cause very massive destruction on Earth,” he said.
Still, “This is the type of mechanism that may generate massive plume eruptions, but on the timescale of 100 million to 200 million years from now. So don’t cancel your cruises,” Michael Thorne explained.
Michael Thorne's and his colleagues' research into this potentially devastating supervolcano eruption is to be published in the journal Earth and Planetary Science Letters later this week.