This year’s eruption of an undersea volcano near the Tonga archipelago in the Pacific Ocean was the largest ever recorded.
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.Read also Scientists found the oldest inscription on a lice comb and performed a transfusion of artificial blood
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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