The Rise and Fall of Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha‘apai

The Arizona Geological Survey links to a “story book” about the recent volcanic eruption in the southern Pacific Ocean. See the “story book” here.

For more than a decade, a submarine volcano had been erupting in the South Pacific Kingdom of Tonga. In 2015, the volcanic activity united two islands as one, and we witnessed the birth of Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha‘apai. However, in 2022, the eruptions culminated in the violent self destruction of this volcanic island.”

The eruption on January 15, 2022 released hundreds of times the equivalent mechanical energy of the Hiroshima nuclear explosion. Material was launched as high as 40 kilometers (25 miles) into the stratosphere, blanketing nearby islands with ash and triggering tsunami waves. Hours after the event, the sound from the blast was heard as far away as Alaska, United States.”

Hunga Tonga