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Toba Catastrophe


Sam Bennett
What it was

The Toba Supereruption was a supervolcanic eruption

that occurred around 75,000 years ago

It was one of the world's largest known eruptions


Sumatra, Indonesia

Located in present day Lake Toba


Last and largest eruption of Toba during Quaternary


Estimated volcanic explosively index of 8

Largest eruption rating of any volcano known on the

Volcanic Winter

Toba's eruption deposited an ash layer around 15

centimeters over all of South Asia

The Earths surface temperature dropped 3-5 degrees


Alan Robock simulated this event and found it was

possible the winter caused a 15 degree Celsius drop 3
years after the eruption

The Toba Catastrophe Theory states that this

supervolcanic eruption caused a volcanic winter
throughout the whole world

The volcanic winter lasted from 6-10 years

Cooling episode could have lasted for 1,000 years


Evidence of this Theory have been found in a

microscopic layer of glassy volcanic ash in sediments
found in Lake Malawi

These findings are said to definately be related to the

Toba supervolcano
Bottleneck Theory

In 1993 science journalist Ann Gibbons presented a

possible link between the eruption and a population
bottleneck in human evolution

Many scientist have supported the this theory since Ann,

but it is still highly controversial
Evidence of Bottleneck
According the the theory 50,00-100,000 years ago the
human population sharply decreased to around 3,000-
10,000 surviving individuals

This is supported because of genetic tests done in this

age that show that humans are descendants from small
breeding pairs (1,000-10,000)
Present Resemblance

Yellowstone supervolcano is the closest thing we have to

the Toba volcano this day and age

Located in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

If this volcano was to erupt the whole U.S. would be

covered in ash and the western U.S. would be destroyed
My Thoughts
I believe in this theory to a certain point

I believe that the eruption could have caused

bottlenecks in animal species and living organisms

The human race would've been affected by this

superexplosion definately

In the end I believe there was Toba that erupted and did
affect living organisms, I don't believe in the genetic
bottlenecking theory though