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Title: Verneshot  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Jules Verne, A Trip to the Moon (Chronicle), Deccan Traps, A Drama in Livonia, Lord Glenarvan
Collection: Jules Verne, Volcanology
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


A verneshot (named after French author Jules Verne) is a hypothetical volcanic eruption event caused by the buildup of gas deep underneath a craton. Such an event may be forceful enough to launch an extreme amount of material from the crust and mantle into a sub-orbital trajectory.


  • Connection with mass extinctions 1
  • Smaller scale Verneshots 2
  • History 3
  • In Fiction 4
  • Notes 5

Connection with mass extinctions

Verneshots have been proposed as a causal mechanism explaining the statistically unlikely contemporaneous occurrence of continental [1]

The verneshot theory suggests that mantle plumes may cause heating and the buildup of carbon dioxide gas underneath continental lithosphere. If continental rifting occurs above this location, an explosive release of the built up gas may occur, potentially sending out a column of crust and mantle into a globally dispersive, super-stratospheric trajectory. It is unclear whether such a column could stay coherent through this process, or whether the force of this process would result in it shattering into much smaller pieces before impacting. The pipe through which the magma and gas had travelled would collapse during this process, sending a shockwave at hypersonic velocity that would deform the surrounding craton.

A verneshot event is likely to be related to nearby continental flood basalt events, which may occur before, during or after the verneshot event. This may help in searching for evidence for the results of verneshot events; however, it is also quite probable that most of such evidence will be buried underneath the basalt flows, making investigation difficult. J. Phipps Morgan and others have suggested that subcircular [1]

If the Deccan Traps were the location of a verneshot event at the [1]

Smaller scale Verneshots

Smaller scale verneshot events were proposed by Phipps Morgan and others to be a possible causal mechanism for the intrusion of kimberlite pipes, which propagate along lines of crustal weakness produced by an earlier larger verneshot event.

The site of the 1908 [1][2] In the verneshot model, the cratonic crust beneath this region would remain as a point of weakness, allowing the intrusion of a kimberlite pipe or, alternatively, a micro-verneshot, degassing from intrusion, resulted in an outpouring of volcanic gas which was then ignited. However the theory is controversial and is simply stated as a possible example.

The micro-verneshot model does not require the ejection of crustal material—only intrusion at depth.


In 1865 John Hunter, whose 47 m expanding hydrogen gun, SHARP, is only a precursor to the "Jules Verne Launcher" with a 3,500 m barrel length, which was designed in the early 1990s[3] for first-stage satellite launch.

In Fiction

  • In Avengers: Age of Ultron the villain, Ultron, plans to bring about an extinction level event using an artificial version of the Verneshot.


  1. ^ a b c d Phipps Morgan, J.; Reston, T. J.; Ranero, C. R. (15 January 2004). "Contemporaneous mass extinctions, continental flood basalts, and ‘impact signals’: are mantle plume-induced lithospheric gas explosions the causal link?" (PDF).
  2. ^ Hryanina, L. (1999). "The bouquet of the meteorite craters in the epicentre of Tunguska impact 1908-year" (PDF). Lunar and Planetary Science XXX (Proceedings of the 30th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, Houston, TX, USA). Retrieved 24 February 2011. 
  3. ^ Charlene Crabb (6 August 1994). "Shooting at the moon". New Scientist. Archived from the original on 30 September 2007. Retrieved 24 February 2011. 
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