Supervolcanoes - GeographyPods

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‘Old Faithful’ – What is it? How does it
work? Watch a YouTube video with
sound on.
‘Sulphur Caldron’ – Find a picture, study
it carefully and tell me why you would
not want to go for a dip (swim) in it.
April 13, 2015
Today we are learning to….
Determine a conclusion on possible effects and responses of a super eruption
Explain the difference between a supervolcano and a volcano
Supervolcanoes: What do you know?
Discuss/Predict what you think a super eruption
would be like....
 How far do you think it would travel?
 How large?
 How many people could be killed?
 What other effects would it have?
 Why would it be so life changing?
USA – Yellowstone,Wyoming;
Long Valley, California;
Longridge, Oregon
Even Ancient ones in
Glencoe, Scotland &
Scafell in Lake District!
Siberia, Russia
Toba, Sumatra, Indonesia
New Zealand
Cause/Formation of a supervolcano...
Yellowstone is
caused by an
HOTSPOT not plate
Scale and Past
The Caldera left behind...
Paris would just about fit inside here.
Indicates how the hotspot has shifted due
to plate movement...
Toba – the last supervolcanic eruption...
The last super-eruption plunged the world into a
freezing, volcanic winter that lasted a decade,
and threatened the human population with
 While ordinary volcanoes can kill thousands of
people and destroy entire cities, it's thought a
supervolcano could claim at least 1 billion lives
and devastate continents.
The size of the
area affected could be 10 million
times the size of ‘Ground Zero’
in New York from 9/11
The world population
is currently 6.4bn
Your Challenge...
At the end of the lesson you need to explain your predictions of the effects in the world a year after the eruption.
You must have:
An annotated world map showing where you think people will die, and where humanity could survive. It
needs a key and detailed annotations of the possible effects of the Yellowstone super-eruption. Be as precise
as possible using accurate figures for deaths and how countries have been affected.
An action plan for planet. Explain where you think survivors should live, how they will support themselves, and
what form their lives would take. Consider jobs, housing, health, education, food as a starting point.
Possible problems that could prevent your plans from working. Think about America’s relationship with
other countries, and the problems that a ‘global community’ might face. Consider the effects of Migration, Food
Shortage, Language Barriers, Culture Clashes and possible unrest/war.
How to start..
Use the evidence board as a starting point for your
research. Roughly annotate a world map to highlight
affected areas.
Research issues that you think would give you a detailed
analysis of the effects of a super-eruption. You will
need to know the population of different countries,
but also you may need to link to agriculture, weather
and climate and political issues.
The roles within the challenge…
You are working for United States ‘Federal
Emergency Management Agency’ (FEMA) to
make plans to deal with the effect of a possible
eruption at Yellowstone.
FEMA have asked for the following expert Geographers
to work with them…
 Climatologist (British MET Office)
 Vulcanologist (Yellowstone Supervolcano Observatory)
 Aid Agency (Red Cross/Oxfam)
Just in….Latest Updates….
90% of the people killed within 1000km
 Direct eruption likely to cover ¾ of the North
 Most of sunlight reduced in northern hemisphere &
triggered rainfall in Africa
 Most deaths by inhaled ash turning to cement
 East coast of USA has 1 cm depth of ash
 Communication links disrupted all over USA, Europe
and parts of East Asia
 30cm can crush a roof – potentially 10 times this
amount in certain areas
 Killing crops & contaminating water supplies
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