Questions tagged [volcanoes]

For questions involving volcanoes, volcanic eruptions, and related phenomena, whether or Earth or elsewhere.

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35
votes
12answers
7k views

How can a human cause the Yellowstone to erupt?

The story is in contemporary earth and with same technology. How can a single human make the Yellowstone explode with the tools available to us now (or with slightly advanced ones, but nothing too sci ...
31
votes
6answers
5k views

How would we try to defuse Yellowstone?

There exists a fictional future world where we have determined space travel is impractical for the majority of the species, despite the fact that technology is more advanced than today. There are no ...
23
votes
14answers
9k views

What wearable material do I need to survive a pyroclastic flow?

This question is inspired by Green's Volcanoes in Orbit! The premise is that there is a 50-mile-high shield volcano (again, let's ignore the height implausibility) with a slope of about 2-3 degrees, ...
20
votes
2answers
4k views

A hang glider, sudden unexpected lift to 25,000 feet altitude, what could do this?

This is the third in a series of 5 (at this point) questions. It's not relevant to this question, but for anyone who's curious this was the first, this the second. Conditions for this question are: ...
20
votes
10answers
4k views

How large can a volcano be?

A key part of the plot in a story I'm working on revolves around the main region being on top of volcano that is set to erupt. The trouble is that the region in question in my setting is roughly the ...
19
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4answers
10k views

What would happen to Earth if Yellowstone Erupted

In a world I am building; Humanity has left the earth and now only the plants, animals and cities remain. Many animals continue life undisturbed, while other went extinct. But with the disappearance ...
16
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4answers
2k views

Castle surrounded by lava

After watching first Shrek, I got interested in one detail: Can you build a castle which is surrounded by lava, using medieval technology? For scope of this question: Imagine ultimate wealthy king/...
15
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6answers
9k views

Can lava still be red hot liquid underwater?

I want a lake which contains a crater of active volcano at the bottom, which the volcano has a lava lake and the lava is still red hot in liquid state, just like lava lake above water on Earth. Is ...
15
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5answers
1k views

Considerations for a Dwarven Volcano City

Related: Could a Dwarven Civilization Exist? Background: A Dungeons and Dragons world (for all intents and purposes, Tolkein lore is close enough) in which a group of colonists far from home are ...
13
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3answers
1k views

Blue Cryovolcanic Planet

Everybody, even those who are complete beginners in the field of Astronomy, know Io, the cryovolcanic moon of Jupiter that looks like a burned pizza with skin cancer. Volcanoes constantly spit out ...
11
votes
3answers
539 views

Habitability of an icy volcano planet

Suppose we have a rocky planet (somewhere between Earth- and Super-Earth- sized) orbiting a star far enough away that it would be around Pluto's temperature if sunlight was the only heat source. If we ...
10
votes
4answers
1k views

Size of the volcano that ends the world

One of the theories behind the extinction of the dinosaurs is the eruption of one or a series of volcanoes. Supposedly the ash expelled by these eruptions blocked out the sun, killing plants and thus ...
10
votes
3answers
718 views

Volcanoes in Orbit!

Building on this question about space exploration on the slopes of a 50 mile high volcano, I'm curious what would happen when the volcano erupts. The volcano is: 50 miles high, just on the edge of ...
10
votes
3answers
573 views

Geopolitical and Economic Implications of a Large Eruption at Yellowstone

Yellowstone National Park is the site of a large supervolcano that is somewhat due for an eruption in the geological near term. I have seen slides and discussions to the effect that large portions of ...
9
votes
4answers
1k views

How long does it take for islands to form after an underwater volcanic eruption?

So, vaguely, I remember from earth science that when submarine volcanoes erupt they eventually form archipelagos. My question actually has several parts; Starting with the first eruption to break ...
8
votes
6answers
207 views

Geothermal Oasis Alternatives on Ice Planet

I have an Earth analog that is nearly completely covered in ice and glaciers. I want to have oases of warmth scattered across the planet. These oases aren't tropical by any means, having just enough ...
8
votes
2answers
320 views

Is there anything wrong with my plate tectonics map?

Here is a map I just produced of the plate tectonics of a world I'm working on. Does anyone familiar with the subject see anything wrong with it? If you can differentiate between the penciled and the ...
8
votes
1answer
147 views

Where to find equations to calculate tidal heating in a binary planet/planetesimal system?

I'm building a very small homeworld (0.602 M$_e$) with a very large moon (0.0711 M$_e$) that orbit each other at a barycenter about 7.12 planetary radii (1 R = 0.870 R$_e$) from the primary's center; ...
7
votes
4answers
319 views

Can reckless idiots wake up a dormant volcano using mining equipment?

My story for a video game has some kind of "enemy" (think "the Others" from Lost—little is known about them; they have control over a small settlement or two and appear to be engaging in some manner ...
7
votes
1answer
141 views

A layer of igneous rock over a large area

How big of a volcano would be needed for a large (Alaska-sized) area on an Earth-Like planet to be covered in a thick shell of igneous rock? Would that volcano also destroy the world or make it ...
7
votes
2answers
642 views

How close is too close for a human habitation to be near an erupting volcano?

I am working on a survival suspense story, where a sizeable group of surivors is trapped in a tropical island (somewhere in the Ring of Fire) by a volcanic eruption. They find shelter from the ...
7
votes
2answers
381 views

Three of the Four Kinds of Volcanic Eruptions…Underwater

A volcanic eruption is measured in two constants--gas and viscosity. For clearance, low viscosity is like squirting water off a nozzle, whereas high viscosity is like squirting caramel off a nozzle, ...
7
votes
1answer
134 views

The Geography and Ecology of a Supervolcanic Planet

What would be the geographical and ecological implications for an Earth-like planet that experienced intense volcanic and supervolcanic activity on a scale that, while decreasing over time, was far ...
6
votes
4answers
747 views

Stopping a Volcano

I've seen in multiple forms of fiction the sort of joking notion of stopping a volcano from erupting by just... plugging up the top with something? Like, a large and sufficiently heavy rock? While ...
6
votes
3answers
616 views

Can I harness a volcano as a weapon?

This may be the first of a few questions in a series about building a medieval mountain fortress. I'll wait and see what the reaction is. In the middle of a series of mountains lies a stratovolcano ...
6
votes
3answers
311 views

Effects and feasability of a modern-day Olympus and Hephestus

The time... a few years from now. On the laser-launch pad of one of the spacefaring nations of Earth, a spacecraft stands, the time until its launch counting down steadily. The launch vehicle weighs ...
6
votes
2answers
135 views

How to modify the human respiratory system to be able to breath in volcanic ash

Okay so in the novel I am writing there’s a Third World War fought by the nations of earth against a human space empire (I am overly simplifying this ) . Now the thing is the empire uses transhuman ...
6
votes
5answers
203 views

Boiling sea between volcanoes

In my world, there is a chain of offshore volcanoes which are the result of a smaller plate hitting a larger one. There are two to three active volcanoes. My question is: two of these volcanoes are ...
6
votes
7answers
452 views

What factors could delay the rescue of a small group of survivors on a Pacific volcanic eruption?

The rag-tag group of natives and tourists somehow survived for a week on the manor by the cliff, while the volcano still spits lava and pyroclastic clouds all around. Just before the last cell tower ...
6
votes
3answers
636 views

Which type of creatures could exist in a volcano world?

Yes, no one, only bacteria and with luck. Let's suppose that: It is a fantasy world; The creatures live in a dormant volcanoes zone; The neighbors volcanoes are about 5 km and they are still ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

Would it be possible to create an artificial volcanic island?

A volcanic island can obviously come into existence quite easily and swiftly by natural causes, as evidenced for instance by the appearance of Surtsey off the coast of Iceland. However, people have ...
6
votes
1answer
308 views

If a Volcano Killed Rome Instead of the Barbarians

In the fourth and fifth centuries AD, the Roman Empire had fallen under bad times. Within its boundaries, the once powerful nation had been getting compromised by political corruption and civil ...
5
votes
5answers
628 views

Volcanic Debris Clouds In Planet's Low Orbit?

I have a few questions related to a crazy setting I'm working for my novel. Let's say we have a planet with a thin atmosphere and low gravity. It's volcanic activity is so intense that the planet has ...
5
votes
2answers
526 views

What type of city-structure can survive a shield volcano?

So I have a continent by the name of Sho. It is highly inspired by Asia, but will have a few mixes in the fray to give it my own touch. There is a specific people that live near a shield volcano. I'...
5
votes
1answer
156 views

Would it be feasible for a single planet to have both magma based volcanoes and cryovolcanos?

I took astronomy class last semester, and I became aware that there were not only magma based volcanoes, but ones run on colder moons in our solar system, called cryovolcanos that in essence spew ...
5
votes
6answers
330 views

How could an island surrounded by scalding steams be accessible in medieval age?

Set in the medieval period, preferably around 15th century, there is a habitable island the size of New York surrounded by boiling water inside the mouth of a volcano. How could you explain that there ...
5
votes
1answer
217 views

Bay evaporated by a volcano

In the world I am designing, I want to have a bay with a tight bottleneck, filled with salt water from the ocean. You can think of the bay as river shaped. To avoid creating a "C" shaped island I want ...
4
votes
4answers
171 views

Could a large string of mountains stop volcanic ash from traveling any farther?

I am adding a new area to my game (a free-roam RPG): the ashlands. I put a small volcano (only about 15ft wide and long, and about 20ft tall. Really, more of a lava vent) on the western edge and have ...
4
votes
2answers
224 views

A Dozen Cubic Miles of Volcanic Ash--How Big Would the Cloud Be?

On May 18, 1980, Mount Saint Helens made American history with an eruption that took 57 human lives and killed thousands of animals. It has released only a quarter of a cubic mile of ash, but it is ...
4
votes
2answers
131 views

What is a plausible way to fuel highly active volcanism and seismic activity on my planet?

I thought that a large, close moon might help generate enough heat and stress to raise the average temperature on my world and stave off a Snowball Earth scenario. According to this article and this ...
4
votes
3answers
529 views

Determination of reasonable volcanic island height from area?

My islands (in the world I'm building) were formed from a volcanic hotspot. I want to build realistic islands, so I was wondering how tall volcanic islands are generally in relation to their area. ...
4
votes
2answers
264 views

Can Off-shore Calderas Exist?

A caldera is usually the remnant of a volcanic eruption powerful enough to collapse the structure surrounding the magma chamber. Many of our examples, like Yellowstone, Crater Lake, Toba and even ...
4
votes
2answers
464 views

The Subductive Hotspot

On Earth, there are only two different ways to create major volcanoes. One way is subduction. It occurs when older/heavier rock sinks beneath younger/lighter rock. As the rock descends, it ...
4
votes
3answers
348 views

How can the human race disappear in a few days? [duplicate]

Is it possible to eradicate the human race in one week? And if yes, by which way? Of course, the human race should do everything to survive. What could be more powerful than our will to survive? 1. ...
4
votes
4answers
484 views

Artificial volcanos on Mars to recover its atmosphere

I am developing a plan to colonize Mars. Due to Mars' current lack of dense atmosphere and lack of oxygen (its found only as traces), I am setting the following plan: Bore holes through Mars' ...
4
votes
2answers
237 views

Could the Siberian Eruption Get Any Bigger?

Background Information: 252 million years ago, Siberia erupted, releasing enough lava to fill in a volume anywhere between one and four million cubic kilometers. Any time someone thinks "large ...
4
votes
1answer
781 views

Is a volcano civilization possible?

I would like to create a civilisation that develops near active volcanos. In ancient times, they would make good use of volcanoes like: Use lava as heat resource. Use lava as material to make bricks, ...
4
votes
2answers
161 views

Californian Yellowstone

North America's largest and perhaps most popular volcano is the plume of mantle situated right beneath the surface of what we arbitrarily call Yellowstone National Park. This image shows the two most ...
3
votes
7answers
897 views

How could a tree survive a volcanic blast?

Background I am working on a Role Play Video game, and I have a particular island called Morogar in my medieval fantasy. (Magic and Mythical Beasts run wild). Originally an island with forests and a ...
3
votes
4answers
254 views

Perpetual Volcanic Eruption

As the title says, is it possible to have a volcano that is perpetually erupting, and how would it be achieved? To be considered a "Perpetual Eruption", the volcano must emit moderate quantities of ...