The Sciences

Monday Musings: Excavating Toba and the Yellowstone swarm summary

Rocky Planet iconRocky PlanetBy Erik KlemettiMar 1, 2010 8:58 AM


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Toba caldera in Indonesia.

  • We're all still talking about the Chilean earthquake and the coverage of the event. If you happen to live in the Columbus area, you might have heard me on WTVN talking about the earthquake as well.

  • The Toba (Indonesia) eruption 74,000 years ago has been used by some researchers to be the cause of a "genetic bottleneck" for humans - however, that is still much debated. Currently, excavations are under away near Toba to look for evidence of human habitation that was buried by the eruption. The evidence of stone tools that appear to be made by the same human populations before and after the eruption suggest that the eruption didn't have as profound an impact on human populations as previously suggested.

  • If we didn't know it already, the recent Yellowstone earthquake swarm is now officially the second-largest on record. YVO says that the swarm had no noticeable effect on the caldera's geysers or surface uplift. In total, the swarm released the equivalent energy of a single M4.4 earthquake.

  • And if you're looking for a couple volcano-related vacation spots, there are a couple of articles on tours of Hawai`i and the Oregon High Lava Plains. You know, summer is around the corner, right?

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