1. The idea of a super-eruption haunts volcanologists, because it represents an uncontrollable natural hazard with a low probability but with grave consequences.

  2. We are pretty sure a super-eruption will happen again.  But its probability is still quite low for anytime soon

  3. We must think about and try to understand such events, even though they are unlikely in our lifetime, because man will have to confront them eventually.

  4. How can research contribute to understanding and possibly mitigation of the inevitable catastrophe?

What is a super-eruption?  An event which erupts more than 1000 km3  VEI>8

Volcanic Explosivity Index (VEI)

Newhall & Self 82

Small volcanic eruptions happen more often than large ones. Really large eruptions are rare.

Large Holocene Eruptions-GVN

Super-eruptions have occurred in the recent geological past, but not in historic time.

review papers about super-eruptions:
Sparks RSJ and S Self, Geol Soc London 2005
Volcanic Eruptions and Climate: A Robock
Bryan et al 2010 Earth Science Reviews

Lecture by Stephen Self
    at SDSUSupereruptions_files/Super-eruptionsGeolSocLon.pdfSupereruptions_files/Super-eruptionsGeolSocLon.pdfhttp://climate.envsci.rutgers.edu/pdf/ROG2000.pdfhttp://climate.envsci.rutgers.edu/pdf/ROG2000.pdfhttp://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0012825210000814http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0012825210000814http://www.geology.sdsu.edu/seminars/spring10/03_17_10.htmlshapeimage_3_link_0shapeimage_3_link_1shapeimage_3_link_2shapeimage_3_link_3shapeimage_3_link_4shapeimage_3_link_5shapeimage_3_link_6

Atitlan Caldera, Guatemala (Google Earth)