The Taupo Volcano and supervolcanoes a Kurzgesagt dissection

20 October 2022

Last month the alert level for the volcano below Lake Taupō in New Zealand’s North Island was raised from zero to one. A swarm of relatively small earthquakes this year prompted geologists to make the adjustment. But as scientists monitoring the recent seismic activity noted, the change in alert status is more down to improved surveillance techniques. In other words it seems such activity is relatively normal, but has simply gone undetected previously.

Let’s hope there’s nothing to be concerned about, as supervolcanoes are truly a force of nature. An eruption at Taupō over twenty-six thousand years ago was the largest known volcanic eruption in the world in the past seventy-thousand years. With a rating of eight on the Volcanic Explosivity Index, the blast caused temperatures across the entire southern hemisphere to plummet. If such an eruption were repeated today, we’d all notice the fallout no matter where on Earth we were.

It’s timely then Kurzgesagt’s latest video examines so-called supervolcanoes, and puts our minds at ease in terms of the likelihood of such an eruption anytime in the near-ish future.