Supervolcanic eruptions

The BBC has had a volcano week. One of the types of volcanoes mentioned was the supervolcano, specifically the Yellowstone one, with dire warnings of what would happen if / when it blows. But how do they know it’s going to do a Krakatoa and not be like the Hawaiian volcanoes with a ‘gentle’ but sustained outpouring of lava?

Three extraordinarily large explosive eruptions in the past 2.1 million years each created a giant caldera within or west of Yellowstone National Park with the spread of enormous volumes of hot, fragmented volcanic rocks as pyroclastic flows over vast areas within times as short as a few days or weeks.

Basically, because that’s what supervolcanoes do. Scientific American had an article last month that goes into some detail about what we know here.

Ooh! Excellent.

I was particularly interested to see that it took the Earth at most 6 years to fully recover from Toba.