September 6, 2012 – Scientists Discover Rare Super Volcano Near Hong Kong, China: Some 140 million years after it erupted and then toppled into the sea, an ancient super volcano in Hong Kong is making headlines. Pictured above, large hexagonal columns of volcanic rock stand in the Ninepin Group, also known as the Kwo Chau Islands.
The government announced Thursday that it had located the super volcano—the first discovery of its kind in southeastern China—while surveying in the area in southeastern Hong Kong. The volcano is now extinct and poses no threat to Hong Kong.
What makes the volcano super? When it last exploded 140 million years ago, it would have darkened the sky with 312 cubic miles of ash, enough to blanket all of Hong Kong, said Denise Tang of the government’s civil engineering & development department, which discovered the volcano. About 50 other such super volcanos are known to exist around the world, she said.
Pictured above, Hong Kong scientists confirmed the discovery and full scope of an ancient super volcano, a small part of which is pictured here.
The original base of Hong Kong’s super volcano would have measured about 11 miles in diameter, and the vista of vaulting, hexagonal rock columns and small islands it left behind remain gorgeous reminders of its dramatic geologic past. They can be toured by boat, but Ms. Tang was quick to warn any would-be tourists to use caution before making any expeditions.
“Although it’s very beautiful,” she said, “there’s no facilities, no pier facilities, so we actually do not recommend people try to land on the island.” (Credits: Photos – Hong Kong Civil Engineering and Development Department/Reuters &Zhao Yusi/Xinhua/Zuma Press, Narrative – The Wall Street Journal)
The Master of Disaster