Supervolcano hidden in plain sight in Utah for millions of years, BYU researchers say

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  • venitar Provo, UT
    June 9, 2017 10:03 p.m.

    I have driven up and down I-15 more times than I can remember. From about south of Nephi, there are visual evidences of volcanoes all over the place. I assume these are part of the caldera in question, or there are more than one volcanic fields in our states. Where is the map that shows the results of this study?

  • washcomom Beaverton, OR
    Dec. 15, 2013 11:42 a.m.

    To to the sci-news dot com site and look it up. There is a map there that shows the area of the caldera.

    Pretty fascinating. I live 1-3 hours away from several volcanoes and 3 hours away from a caldera and they are fascinating to explore. It sounds like the Pacific ring of fire extends much farther away than originally supposed.

  • Dennis Harwich, MA
    Dec. 13, 2013 6:06 a.m.

    I don't think this was the "largest" volcanic explosion. The last time the volcano underneath Yellowstone blew it put down an ash trail all the way through Colorado, Oklahoma and Texas. I'm wondering why everything "BYU" has to be first, biggest, best, etc. Why can't it just be found, understood and move on. It's still good research if it's a fact.
    Then again maybe we don't want facts to get in the way of good research either. It depends on the subject.

  • BYUalum South Jordan, UT
    Dec. 11, 2013 9:58 p.m.

    Colby27: Didn't mean to get you in a tizzy. Just my opinion.

  • Moracle Blackshear, GA
    Dec. 11, 2013 8:34 p.m.

    When we speak of the lifetime existence of an individual, do we include the gestation period as part of the age of the person?
    No, we do not, and neither should we include the preparatory period of the earth for human life (gestation)as part of the age of the earth. We should wait until the earth is fully born, before we start counting its age.
    If we do that, 7,000 years should serve very nicely.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    Dec. 11, 2013 6:48 p.m.

    Just found the answer, 7,000 years according to section 77

  • Osgrath Provo, UT
    Dec. 11, 2013 5:19 p.m.

    Some of these questions demonstrate very well that going to college and being an alumnus of a university does not equate to have a good education.

    Anyone that makes dogmatic declarations in either direction on having anything to do with the age of the earth and the process of it coming into existence is setting themselves up to look and feel very foolish at some time when the whole story becomes available.

  • StGeorge Washington, UT
    Dec. 11, 2013 3:28 p.m.

    Very large, and very hot now that it cool.

  • pmccombs Orem, UT
    Dec. 11, 2013 1:39 p.m.

    Earth Science Review, volume 102 issues 3-4 from October, 2010. There is identified an explosive eruption in Parana and the Etendeka Traps that produced 8,600 cubic kilometers of material. How is it that Wah Wah's 5,500 cubic kilometers is now the "largest" known eruption when another explosive eruption has been identified that ejected even more stuff? Am I missing something?

    Just what do they mean by "largest?"

  • Trudere Provo, UT
    Dec. 11, 2013 1:03 p.m.

    When I hear people being adamant that the earth is 13 thousand (7 creation + 6 history) years old, I reply, "For God, what's the hurry?"

  • Oatmeal Woods Cross, UT
    Dec. 11, 2013 12:51 p.m.


    I would suggest that "earth" as used in scripture, does not equate to "earth" as a planet as used in modern times. Take a look at the wording in Genesis 1 and Genesis 11. If you take the Bible completely literally, you end up with an "earth" shaped like a hockey puck!

    The Biblical peoples' views on geography, the shape of the earth, the age of the earth, etc., obviously are not the same as modern scientific view. D&C 77 is Joseph Smith's extrapolation of this ancient worldview as found in the Book of Revelations. Much of Revelations is symbolic, so Joseph or any other modern reader must enter that ancient worldview to understand the symbolism and religious teachings of that work. As far as I know, the LDS Church takes no stand on the physical age of the earth, Darwinian evolution, or the creation process of the physical earth other than to say that God was involved.

  • apm22 sparks, NV
    Dec. 11, 2013 11:13 a.m.

    Thid Barker, etc., the volcano was in Utah millions of years ago, not in some unorganized mass millions of years ago. I think Ernest has a valid question as to the doctrine of the Church as D&C states that the earth has a temporal existence of 7000 years. So how does that square with the science that says there was a volcano in Utah that is millions of years old? See D&C 77.

  • Thid Barker Victor, ID
    Dec. 11, 2013 9:59 a.m.

    Earnest T. Bass. Scriptures tell us the earth was organized by intelligent design from existing unorganized matter, therefore we do not know how old the matter was or where it came from. But the organization (creation) work is tremendous isn't it?

  • J-TX Allen, TX
    Dec. 11, 2013 9:31 a.m.

    Trollin'...trollin...trollin' on the D.N.....

    Ernest; You will get no argument on that front from the LDS. We embrace science and feel there is no contradiction between science and the gospel as contained in the Bible and the Book of Mormon. In this we differ from our evangelical brethren.

    Who knows what a "day" is to God, a timeless being? Who knows what process was used to 'create' the plants and animals within those 'days'? Sure many things that were miracles to the understanding of men 5000 years ago are explainable by science today. That does not make them any less miraculous, since God, the Chief Scientist knows all the rules, and we don't. All we need is faith....and miracles continue today.

  • Colby27 Logan, UT
    Dec. 11, 2013 9:22 a.m.

    Ernest T. Bass:

    Our planet is 4.54 billion years old, I just Googled it.

  • Colby27 Logan, UT
    Dec. 11, 2013 9:19 a.m.


    People go to school and study the geography and the geology of our planet, as well as close to home; what difference does it make if they spend money and time doing research that is catered to their field of study; it's cool to know that we have a supervalcano here in Utah. Plus, this study has gone on for 30 years, so it's a little late to complain about what they've done and the money that has already been spent; let them enjoy what they're studying and not be a negative Nancy about it.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    Dec. 11, 2013 9:09 a.m.

    I'm confused. Is the earth 6,000 years old or at least a few million years old?

  • timpClimber Provo, UT
    Dec. 11, 2013 7:50 a.m.

    This is good long term study that will be valuable to mineral and oil research and exploration for year. It will also help us understand volcanoes and their impact on both the ancient and modern world. Kudos to the researchers and students for their persistence.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    Dec. 11, 2013 7:30 a.m.

    I agree with Coyoteghost, can you link a map? Most interesting.

  • Coyoteghost Saint George, UT
    Dec. 11, 2013 7:03 a.m.

    Do the researchers have a map available which would geographically show the outline and probable center of the volcano? Having worked in the Wah Wah mountain area it would be of particular interest.

  • BYUalum South Jordan, UT
    Dec. 11, 2013 5:43 a.m.

    So, with 30 years of study, what impact does this have on anything? Seems we should spend time and money to better use moving forward.

  • Clarissa Layton, UT
    Dec. 10, 2013 10:11 p.m.

    Awesome! I wish I had been able to help with the research. I love volcanoes!