What If The La Garita Super Volcano In The USA Erupted Right Now?

What If The La Garita Super Volcano In The USA Erupted Right Now

The La Garita volcano is a supervolcano located in the San Juan Mountains of southwestern Colorado. It is the largest known single volcanic eruption in the world. Its last eruption was about 27 million years ago and it created a massive caldera. If the La Garita volcano were to erupt again today, it would have catastrophic consequences for the United States and the world.

The most powerful nuclear weapon created and denoted up to this day is the Tsar Bomb. It created a blast of over 50 megatons. La Garita volcano eruption would be 5,000 times more powerful. Imagine a ground-shattering blast as energetic as that!

Adding more to it, the scientists found the area to be a volcanic field. They discovered around 18 large calderas or ground depressions from previous volcanic eruptions. More of them might still be there. Buried thousands of feet deep in the solidified magma. Pretty terrifying to think about right?

Image source: Telegraph co.uk

What If?

The explosion will probably be a level 8 explosion on the  VEI (Volcanic Explosivity Index) scale. That is obviously as powerful as an explosion can get. The eruption would likely be preceded by a series of earthquakes and other seismic activity.

As the magma reaches the surface, it would heat groundwater and cause steam explosions. These explosions would send ash and rocks into the air. The explosion would create massive pyroclastic flows and ash clouds. They could travel hundreds of miles, to say the least. The amount of magma released will be huge. Imagine being able to fill lakes as massive as Lake Michigan!

The explosion will produce a large plume of ash and gas. The ash cloud would block out the sun! Temperatures will drop to some serious levels. Crops will fail. It will not stop there. The ash would also contaminate water supplies. The debris and polluted air will make breathing difficult.

Image source: Quora

The eruption would also cause widespread flooding. The magma would melt snow and ice. The flowing magma will create lahars or mudflows. They could travel down valleys at speeds of up to 60 miles per hour. These lahars would destroy everything in their path.

The human toll of a La Garita volcano eruption would also be unimaginable. Fish Canyon Tuff is the great visible evidence of this super volcano’s power. It has formed gigantic structures with the magma and debris deposits from its last eruption.

Image Source: USDA Forest service

The La Garita volcano is a dormant volcano, but it is not extinct. There is a small chance that it could erupt again in the future. If it does, the consequences would be catastrophic. We must be prepared for this possibility and take steps to mitigate the risks.

Conclusion

The La Garita volcano is a supervolcano located in the San Juan Mountains of southwestern Colorado. Its last eruption was about 27 million years ago and it created a massive caldera. If the La Garita volcano were to erupt again today, it would have catastrophic consequences for the United States and the world. The explosion will probably be a level 8 explosion on the VEI (Volcanic Explosivity Index) scale. That is obviously as powerful as an explosion can get.

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