Novarupta The Most Powerful Volcanic Eruption of the 20th Century

This article goes on to talk about many different things that occurred due to the eruption in 1912 of Novarupta which the volcano is located on the peninsula of Alaska. This is stated to be the largest eruption in the 20th century. This eruption caused many dramatic things to occur due to how saver and large this eruption was. When a volcano erupts it sends a very thick cloud of ash up into the sky, the eruption was so big that the town of Juneau could see the thick clouds of ash from their location, which was 750 miles away from the  eruption. They could also hear the eruption over an hour after it occurred.

They also go on to talk about how monitoring of volcano’s has come so far since this eruption. Obviously technology  has improved a lot since then. They say that the information goes public and it posted on the web allowing other geologist to look at them and study the results to make possible predictions. If they feel that results have a strong possibility leading up to an eruption they will head to the location of the volcano to do further studies.

When the eruption occurred in 1912  the volcano  had the affects of  “the next 60 hours the eruption sent tall dark columns of tephra and gas high into the atmosphere. By the time the eruption ended the surrounding land was devastated and about 30 cubic kilometers of ejecta blanketed the entire region” The accumulation of this one eruption had more ejecta then all of the historic volcano eruption in Alaska combined. The impact that this eruption had was very problematic, “The inhabitants of Kodiak, Alaska, on Kodiak Island, about 100 miles away, were among the first people to realize the severity of this eruption.” Not only was the sound of the blast an attention grabber but so was the large cloud of ash that rouse 20 miles up into the atmosphere that was quickly heading towards them. This large cloud of ash then blanketed the surrounding areas with a foot of ash, this ash fell for three days straight. Due to the ash people were forced to take shelter however since the ash laid such a heavy and thick blanket some buildings collapsed due to the weight. But there was no chance for survival outside of shelter because the ash made the air impossible to breath and for any animals that could not seek shelter would most likely die off because there was no way to find food, water or yet alone breath the thick air.

Novarupta Dome “During the eruption a large amount of magma was drained from magma chambers below. The result was a removal of support from beneath Mount Katmai which is six miles from Novarupta. The top several hundred feet of Katmai – about one cubic mile of material – collapsed into a magma chamber below. This collapse produced a crater about two miles in diameter and over 800 feet deep.”

The issue of can this happen again and will it brings a lot of issues and problems to mind because it a blast this big were to occurr again it would ground all commercial flights due to the inability to fly in the ashy clouds.  When a smaller eruption a while back occurred it damaged many planes that were flying 1000 miles away from eruption. However if another eruption occurred the size of Novarupta it would shut down flight all across North America.

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