Geologists found traces of the legendary eruption of the sacred mountain of Kim Jong Il

Геологи нашли следы легендарного извержения священной горы Ким Чен Ира

Scientists have found traces of the legendary “thousand-year” eruption of mount baekdu in North Korea, which, despite the huge scale and huge volume of emissions, for some reason does not affect the Earth’s climate, according to a paper published in the journal Science Advances.

“The destructive potential of that amount of compounds which threw mount baekdu, was really a giant. The magma in this volcano is very viscous, and they can hold a huge amount of gas. Imagine a ball of peanut butter, and try to “inflate it with a syringe with air. The oil is very easy to hold this gas,” says Kyle Iacovino (Kayla Iacovino) of the U.S. Geological survey in Menlo Park.

Baekdu mountain is the only active volcano in North Korea, the highest point of the entire Korean Peninsula and northeast China. Baekdu is a sacred mountain in Korea for several reasons – on top of it, in accordance with the legend, down the demigod Hanun, the founder of the first Korean kingdoms Cocoon. In the 20th century, this mountain got a double legendary status, as next to her, on the lake of heaven, was born of Kim Jong Il.

It tells Iacovino around Pectosan there was a lot of legends and tales, some of which can be found in the old Korean Chronicles. For example, one of those stories says that about the middle of the 10th century baekdu literally exploded, forming the current crater depth of 850 meters and a width of five kilometers.

If you believe the Chronicles of the time, this “eruption of the Millennium” as it is today called Koreans, was comparable with the other two legendary apocalyptic explosions of volcanoes – the eruption of mount Tambora in 1815 and the explosion of Santorini island in 1642 BC, which caused the equivalent of “nuclear winter” and caused a powerful tsunami.

The problem, according to the American researcher, is that no trace of this event that would be printed in the annual rings of trees or ice in Greenland, scientists still have not found. This has led many geologists to assume that the chroniclers embellished the force of the eruption or just confused it with some other natural cataclysm.

The mystery of the sacred mountain

To test these ideas in place, it was problematic for obvious reasons – the North Korean authorities rarely allow foreign nationals to enter its territory. In 2013, this tradition was suddenly disrupted, and the team of American and North Korean geologists have the opportunity to unravel the mysteries of the “sacred mountain”.

Having made an expedition to baekdu, geologists collected samples of pumice and other volcanic rocks, which contained small bubbles of volcanic gases since the “Millennium eruption” that allowed them to reconstruct the eruption and to confirm that the chroniclers do not lie.

According to their calculations, the eruption of this volcano in the year 946 ad, resulted in the release of approximately 23 cubic kilometers of rock and about 45 million tons of sulfuric gases and two billion tons of water into the atmosphere.

It is about 20 times larger than that indicated by the deposition of ice at that time in Greenland that confronts scientists a new-old mystery – where did all this gas and why it is not triggered global cooling?

According to the authors, this is due to the fact that baekdu, unlike Tambora and other well-known “mega-volcanoes” of the past, is much closer to the pole. As a result, its emissions caused the global and the local cold, and aerosols resulting from emissions of sulfur compounds into the atmosphere, apparently, was gone with the wind in the Arctic, where their impact on climate was minimal.