NIWA Scientists Say Tonga Eruption Record Size

A team of oceanographers, scientists and marine geologists headed by the New Zealand National Institute for Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) investigating an underwater volcano that erupted on 15 January 2022 in the Tongan archipelago in the South Pacific Ocean have found that it was the “largest ever recorded” with modern equipment, Emma Ogao reports in a story published by ABC News.

The Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano, which triggered a tsunami and a sonic boom that twice-circled the globe, was captured in dramatic satellite imagery which showed huge cloud of ash and steam thrust into the atmosphere, Ogao writes.

They discovered that almost 10 cubic kilometres of seafloor was displaced – the equivalent of 2.6 million Olympic-sized pools.

“The eruption reached record heights, being the first we’ve ever seen to break through into the mesosphere,” NIWA marine geologist Kevin Mackay said. “It was like a shotgun blast directly into the sky.”

Original article by Emma Ogao, ABC News, November 22, 2022.


Tags: ABC News  National Institute for Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA)  Tonga  volcanic eruption