What would happen a volcano the size of Australia were to erupt?

How high on the extinction-list would it rank? Would it be above the asteroid that hit Earth and killed the dinosaurs?

Which known planet has the largest supervolcano, and what would it do if it were to erupt on our planet?

  • $\begingroup$ This question appears to be off topic because it is about a real-world scenario. This does not fall within our scope. $\endgroup$
    – ArtOfCode
    Jan 16, 2015 at 11:29
  • $\begingroup$ I've fixed that @ArtOfCode it's not a fictional-scenario $\endgroup$
    – Gerwin
    Jan 16, 2015 at 11:31
  • $\begingroup$ Good one. I'm happy with this now. $\endgroup$
    – ArtOfCode
    Jan 16, 2015 at 11:34
  • $\begingroup$ Real-world scenarios are fine to ask about, so long as it's to build a world. $\endgroup$
    – Tim B
    Jan 16, 2015 at 11:49
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ The tallest volcano of the solar system is Olympus Mons on Mars. It is about the size of France. $\endgroup$
    – mouviciel
    Jan 16, 2015 at 14:35

1 Answer 1


Australia is about 7 and a half million square kilometres, that is roughly the size of the Siberian traps. And the answer to your question is that nobody really knows but when the Siberian traps were formed it is estimated 90% of all species went extinct. The reason the answer is unknown is because events of this magnitude cause an entire chain of events that might or might not repeat at a later time. Specifically the response of the ecology would be quite different depending on which stage of evolution the event happens. Likewise traps may be triggered by asteroid impacts, which themselves are extinction level events.

It should be noted that the ecosystem needed 15 million years to recover.

Supervolcanos are basically smaller cousins of the above (one massive eruption instead of a series of eruptions lasting millions of years) and too small to create Australia. Their consequences (outside the immediate area) are mostly limited to global cooling. But the cooling may last from a one year without summer to a thousand year small ice age killing most of human population.


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