Doomsday volcanoes on the planet are awakening in record numbers: Is a new supervolcano forming in Chile?

The Extinction Protocol

November 2, 2013GEOLOGYOne of these days, a field of volcanoes you have never heard of will wake up, and if it fulfills its geologic potential, the consequences will be heard around the world. Curiously, Laguna del Maule, situated along the spine of the Andes, doesn’t even look like a volcano. No towering peak, no plume of smoke or steam, no stench of sulfur. But 36 times in the past 20,000 years, volcanic vents surrounding the lake basin have created monster fields of lava — with huge deposits of volcanic glass, pumice and ash. Once, almost a million years ago, this volcano field had an eruption that, if repeated, could change history by affecting air travel, agriculture and climate. Tantalizing scraps of lava indicate enormous eruptions 1.5 million and 336,000 years ago. It’s a maxim of geology: What happened before can happen again. The volcanic field is…

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