Abstract

Pyroclastic deposits and lava flows generated by supereruptions are similar to, but tens of times larger than, those observed in historic eruptions. Physical processes control eruption styles, which then dictate what products are available for sampling and how well the eruption sequence can be determined. These erupted products and their ordering in time permit reconstruction of the parental magma chamber. Supervolcanoes also have smaller eruptions that provide snapshots of magma chamber development in the lead-in to and aftermath of supereruptions. Many aspects of supereruption dynamics, although on a vast scale, can be understood from observations or inferences from smaller historic and prehistoric events. However, the great diversity in the timings of supereruptions and in the eruptive behaviour of supervolcanoes present continuing challenges for research.

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