Scientists Discover New Super Volcano 20 Aug 12

As if the end of the Mayan calendar wasn’t enough to have you worrying about mankind’s existence, now another possible apocalyptic event is on the horizon — and it’s based on science!

Scientists report there’s a “super volcano” hidden near the same location where the notorious Mount Vesuvias eruption of 79 A.D. occurred and killed thousands of Pompeii residents. Only now this area of Italy is inhabited by 3 million residents, and the volcano is located in the tourist-heavy Campi Flegrei. This means an exponential number of casualties would arise if a similar event were to occur today.

Making matters worse, the ash emitted into the air by such an event can cause global climate change and lead to catastrophic events which could impact people everywhere.

What exactly is a super volcano? Scientists describe this particular one as a caldera, or cauldron that formed after an earlier eruption caused a collapse of land. Although it is not domed shape, it behaves just like other volcanoes in that it can shoot out magma and ash into the air.

Also, the Campi Flegrei caldera is not the only super volcano out there. There are other calderas in Yellowstone, California, Mexico, Indonesia, Japan, and Siberia. However, because it has the potential to impact so many people, Giuseppe De Natale, head of the Italian volcano drilling project, feels it is imperative the study of the Campi Flegrei caldera should take precedence.

“I wouldn’t say like others, but much more than the others exactly because of the danger given that millions of people live in the volcano,” said De Natale.

De Natale’s group, funded by the International Continental Scientific Drilling Programme plans to drill 2.2 miles into the molten center of the caldera and install a monitoring device that will alert scientists to any notable changes that occur within the volcano. As such, it will serve as an early warning system to any dangerous eruptions.