Monday, June 25, 2012

A more super super-eruption: Were Neanderthals driven out?

I saw the link to this article on the excellent Eruptions blog:
A more super super-eruption: Were Neanderthals driven out?

A super-eruption of an Italian volcano that may have played a major role in the Neanderthals' fate was apparently even larger than thought, new research suggests.

For the new study, scientists investigated the Campi Flegrei caldera volcano in southern Italy. About 39,000 years ago, it experienced the largest volcanic eruption that Europe has seen in the last 200,000 years. This super-eruption may have played a part in wiping out or driving away Neanderthal and modern human populations in the eastern Mediterranean.

To learn more about this outburst, scientists measured 115 sites for the ash layer it laid down, known as Campanian Ignimbrite. They next analyzed this data with a 3D ash-dispersal computer model.

Read the whole article here.