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Volcanic eruption: Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai blast wave circled the earth four times

2022-05-13T13:49:35.504Z

The eruption of the underwater volcano Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai in January is one of the strongest eruptions in the past 2000 years. An international study has compiled the most important findings.



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Comparable to Krakatoa 1883: Satellite image of Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai eruption on January 15, 2022

Photo: TONGA METEOROLOGICAL SERVICES HANDOUT/EPA

The pressure wave from the volcanic eruption in Tonga at the beginning of the year spread at a speed of around 1100 kilometers per hour and circled the earth at least four times in six days.

The strength of the rash is comparable to the legendary Krakatoa eruption between the Indonesian islands of Sumatra and Java in 1883, as the Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR) in Hanover, which is involved in a global study, announced on Friday.

The eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai volcano in the South Pacific on January 15 was one of the most violent volcanic eruptions in the past 2000 years.

A total of 76 scientists from 17 countries compiled their research results.

The study, published in the journal Science, is based on data from thousands of measuring systems worldwide.

The researchers found that the most violent wave triggered by the volcanic eruption was a so-called Lamb wave: This is a phenomenon that can only be observed in extremely strong, explosive events.

The blast wave spread at a speed of around 1,100 kilometers per hour.

Its impact was ten times larger than that of the Mount St. Helens eruption in the United States in 1980.

Due to the interaction with the sea surface, the Lamb wave also stimulated so-called meteotsunamis, which rushed ahead of the tsunami wave triggered in the Pacific.

These small tsunamis are triggered by short-term fluctuations in air pressure.

When the volcano erupted, ash and acid rain fell widely in the Pacific Ocean.

One village on Mango Island was completely destroyed, while only a few houses remained in several other villages scattered across the archipelago.

The eruption caused tidal waves even on distant shores from Japan to the United States.

ak/AFP

Source: spiegel

All tech articles on 2022-05-13

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