The eruption of an underwater volcano near Tonga was the largest ever recorded – Earth – Science and technology

This year’s eruption of an undersea volcano near the Tonga archipelago in the Pacific Ocean was the largest ever recorded.

, 21.11.2022 13:47

It was announced by New Zealand scientists, DPA agency writes. The underwater volcano Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Ha’apai, located 65 kilometers from the capital of Tonga, Nuku’alofa, erupted in January this year. As a result of the eruption, a huge cloud of ash and volcanic gases was released into the air.

In an in-depth analysis, scientists from New Zealand’s National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) found that a volcanic eruption off Tonga displaced the equivalent of 2.6 million swimming pools of seafloor material. This material was scattered up to a radius of 20 kilometers.

“The eruption (of the undersea volcano off Tonga) has reached a record height, reaching into the mesosphere for the first time,” said NIWA marine geologist Kevin Mackay. Despite the powerful eruption, the Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Ha’apai volcano remained more or less undamaged. Only its crater dropped by roughly 700 meters. However, research shows that it is still active and erupting.

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In this context, the researchers also examined the so-called pyroclastic flow, a mixture of lava, volcanic ash and gases, which can reach a temperature of up to 1000 degrees Celsius and a speed of 700 kilometers per hour. The remnants of this jet were found 80 kilometers from the volcano, but it is believed that they could have reached a distance of 100 kilometers.

According to scientists, it was this phenomenon that caused the interruption of local national and international communication cables in the area; some of them were covered by a 30-meter layer of volcanic material, writes DPA.


Source: Pravda – Veda a technika by vat.pravda.sk.

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