Explosive volcanic eruptions
Volcanic super-eruption

A supervolcano is a volcano that has had an eruption with a volcanic explosivity index (VEI) of 8, the largest recorded value on the index. This means the volume of deposits for such an eruption is greater than 1,000 cubic kilometers (240 cubic miles).

Supervolcanoes occur when magma in the mantle rises into the crust but is unable to break through it. Pressure builds in a large and growing magma pool until the crust is unable to contain the pressure and ruptures. This can occur at hotspots (for example, Yellowstone Caldera) or at subduction zones (for example, Toba).

Large-volume supervolcanic eruptions are also often associated with large igneous provinces, which can cover huge areas with lava and volcanic ash. These can cause long-lasting climate change (such as the triggering of a small ice age) and threaten species with extinction. The Oruanui eruption of New Zealand's Taupō Volcano (about 26,500 years ago) was the world's most recent VEI-8 eruption.

Source: Wikipedia

The supervolcano of most repute is the eruption of Toba (Indonesia) in approximately 72,000 BC. Some vulcanologists consider that an equivalent eruption could occur somewhere in the world at any time.
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