This question was prompted to me by my answer I gave to this question. In it I stated that an Earth sized planet would satisfy the criteria if it's oceans were made of glass or at least regions of that scale. Because oceans were used for nuclear testing this got my mind off on a tangent. Now completely ignoring that question it made a thought to mind.

What macro effects would it have on an Earth sized planet to strike an ocean made of a solid chunk of pure glass with a nuclear bomb? I'm guessing that hitting a solid chunk of glass with a strong enough force would cause it to shatter. The cracks that would form would then allow for volcanic eruption to occur.

Because this is meant to be a bit more of a fun question just in terms of the curiosity of how dangerous to the planet it might be I don't have a specific definition of the term nuclear bomb in mind (and I'm not particular familiar enough with them to gauge what would be the best to consider). Feel free to consider the impact of anything within that spectrum.

Mostly I'm honestly curious what sort of energy/force it would take to hit this glass so hard that an immediate volcanic eruption would begin and then what would happen afterwards. Could something on the level of what killed off the dinosaurs accomplish this feat or am I missing something here?


closed as too broad by L.Dutch Dec 31 '18 at 9:51

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  • $\begingroup$ I think it would be better if you could sharpen the question. Anything from Little Boy to Santa's sleigh is a tad too broad for a single question. $\endgroup$ – L.Dutch Dec 31 '18 at 9:52
  • $\begingroup$ @L.Dutch How is me saying that the interpretation of "nuclear bomb" is allowed to be "whatever one considers nuclear" too broad? $\endgroup$ – The Great Duck Dec 31 '18 at 9:53
  • $\begingroup$ @L.Dutch "...to Santa's sleigh" you do understand humor right? Santa's sleigh was thrown into that list as a joke... $\endgroup$ – The Great Duck Dec 31 '18 at 9:55
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    $\begingroup$ Considering that the Chicxulub impact was around 100 million megatons lpi.usra.edu/science/kring/Chicxulub/regional-effects while the biggest human bomb was a mere 50 megatons, the answer is "not much". Really, what's under a bomb when it goes off is pretty much irrelevant: glass, granite, water, concrete... all pretty much the same at 100,000,000°C :-) $\endgroup$ – jamesqf Dec 31 '18 at 19:56
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    $\begingroup$ @The Great Duck: Volcanos don't work like that. pubs.usgs.gov/gip/volc/types.html You'd need a sufficiently large impact to punch down near the mantle, which is way beyond the capabilities of any current nuclear device. $\endgroup$ – jamesqf Jan 1 at 19:48