8 Largest Volcanic Eruptions in the History of Earth

We are continuing our top worst natural disasters on earth series. The first part of the series focussed on the worst pandemics while the second part revolved around the 8 Deadliest Earthquakes recorded in the history of mankind. Part 3 was covered by Nikhil Chandwani which featured top 8 heartbreaking famines in the history of earth.

This new part explores the 8 largest volcanic eruptions in the history of earth. Let’s begin:

  1. Flat Landing Brook Eruption – Around 466 million years ago

    Covering 2,000-12,000 Kms, this was one of the oldest and most damaging volcanic eruptions ever. It created the Flat Landing Brook Formation, a geological formation in Gloucester County of northern New Brunswick, Canada. This formation consists mostly of volcanic rocks that were deposited 466 to 465 million years ago due to this eruption during the Darriwilian stage of the Middle Ordovician epoch.
  2. Wah Wah Springs Tuff – Around 30 Million Years ago

    The Wah Wah Springs Tuff (29.5 Ma) is one of four super volcanic eruptions (>1000 km3 of magma) of dacite that occurred near the peak of the ignimbrite flare-up in the Great Basin of western North America.
  3. Yellowstone – Around 640 Thousand Years Ago

    The entire Yellowstone National Park is an active volcano rumbling beneath visitors’ feet. And it has erupted with magnificent strength: Three magnitude-8 eruptions rocked the area as far back as 2.1 million years ago, again 1.2 million years ago and most recently 640,000 years ago. “Together, the three catastrophic eruptions expelled enough ash and lava to fill the Grand Canyon,” according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
  4. Mahabaleshwar–Rajahmundry Traps – Around 64 Million Years ago

    The Deccan Traps are one of the largest volcanic provinces in the world. It consists of more than 6,500 feet (>2,000 m) of flat-lying basalt lava flows and covers an area of nearly 200,000 square miles (500,000 square km) (roughly the size of the states of Washington and Oregon combined) in west-central India. Estimates of the original area covered by the lava flows are as high as 600,000 square miles (1.5 million square km). The volume of basalt is estimated to be 12,275 cubic miles (512,000 cubic km).
  5. Huaynaputina – 1600 CE

    This peak was the site of South America’s largest volcanic eruption in recorded history. The explosion sent mudflows as far as the Pacific Ocean, 75 miles (120 km) away, and appears to have affected the global climate. The summers following the 1600 eruption were some of the coldest in 500 years. Ash from the explosion buried a 20-square-mile (50-square-km) area to the mountain’s west, which remains blanketed to this day. Although Huaynaputina, in Peru, is a lofty 16,000 feet (4,850 meters), it’s somewhat sneaky as volcanoes go. It stands along the edge of a deep canyon, and its peak doesn’t have the dramatic silhouette often associated with volcanoes.
  6. Krakatoa – 1883 CE

    The rumblings that preceded the final eruption of Krakatoa (also spelled Krakatau) in the weeks and months of the summer of 1883 finally climaxed with a massive explosion on April 26-27. The explosive eruption of this stratovolcano, situated along a volcanic island arc at the subduction zone of the Indo-Australian plate, ejected huge amounts of rock, ash and pumice and was heard thousands of miles away. The explosion also created a tsunami, whose maximum wave heights reached 140 feet (40 meters) and killed about 34,000 people. Tidal gauges more than 7,000 miles away on the Arabian Peninsula even registered the increase in wave heights.
  7. Mount Pinatubo – 1991 CE

    A stratovolcano situated in a chain of volcanoes in Luzon, Philippines, created along a subduction zone, the cataclysmic eruption of Pinatubo was a classic explosive eruption. The blast ejected more than 1 cubic mile (5 cubic kilometers) of material into the air and created a column of ash that rose up 22 miles (35 km) in the atmosphere. Ash fell across the countryside, even piling up so much that some roofs collapsed under the weight.
  8. Mount Tambora eruption – 1815 CE

    In 1815, Mount Tambora erupted on Sumbawa, an island of modern-day Indonesia. Historians regard it as the volcano eruption with the deadliest known direct impact: roughly 100,000 people died in the immediate aftermath. But far more died over the next several years, due to secondary effects that spread all over the globe.

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