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A large magmatic sill complex beneath the Toba caldera

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Science  31 Oct 2014:
Vol. 346, Issue 6209, pp. 617-619
DOI: 10.1126/science.1258582

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Imaging before an unimaginable eruption

Volcanic super-eruptions eject thousands of times the volume of the largest documented eruptions over human history. Several “supervolcanoes” capable of this type of unimaginable devastation dot the surface of Earth today. Jaxybulatov et al. use seismic background noise to estimate the size and maturity of one of the world's largest volcanic reservoirs, the Toba caldera in northern Sumatra. Magma storage under the caldera occurs slowly over time, in the form of horizontal layers of magma injected into the crust. These magmatic sills are documented to 20 kilometers below the surface, but more sills could exist even deeper. The characterization of magma storage in large volcanic systems may help us to prepare for future volcanic super-eruptions.

Science, this issue p. 617