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Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai volcano (Tonga Islands) - Smithsonian / USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report for 29 December-4 January 2022 (New Activity / Unrest)

Wed, 29 Dec 2021, 16:25
16:25 PM | BY: VN
The eruption at Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai continued intermittently during 29 December 2021 to 4 January 2022, though by 3 January activity had significantly decreased. Several surges of Surtseyan activity, with some periods lasting as long as 30 minutes, occurred during 28-29 December; gas, steam, and ash plumes rose at least to 12.2 km (40,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted N, though the maximum altitude of the ash-rich portion of the plume was lower.
Ashfall was local to areas around the island. Discolored water and rafts of pumice were visible in areas around the island on 30 December, and had been observed since the beginning of the eruption. Steam-and-gas plumes were visible throughout the day, interspersed with occasional tephra ejections.
The plumes rose as high as 12 km (39,400 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NNE. During the morning of 31 December intermittent plumes of ash, steam, and gas rose to 3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l. according to the Wellington VAAC, though the steam-and-gas portion of the plume rose as high as 18 km (59,000 ft) a.s.l. as stated by the Tonga Meteorological Services.
The Met Services also noted that ash was no longer visible in the emissions starting around noon.



Steam-and-gas plumes were occasional visible in satellite data during 1-2 January. A small ash plume rose 6-7 km (19,700-23,000 ft) a.s.l. during 2220-2230 on 2 January and drifted 10 m NE, dropping in altitude along the way.
A cyclone that passed through the area during 3-4 January obscured views of the volcano.

Sources: Wellington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), Tonga Geological Services, Government of Tonga, Tonga Meteorological Services, Government of Tonga
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From: Global Volcanism Program, 2021. Report on Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai. In: Mayberry, G (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report 29 December-4 January 2022. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

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