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Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai volcano
Submarine volcano 149 m / 489 ft
Tonga, Tonga Islands, -20.57°S / -175.38°W
Current status: dormant (1 out of 5)
Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai volcano books
Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai volcano eruptions:
2014, 2009, 1988
Typical eruption style:
unspecified
Last earthquakes nearby
Latest satellite images
 

Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai volcano news & activity updates:

Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai volcano (Tonga Islands) eruption: new island grows rapidly

Friday Jan 16, 2015 18:52 PM | BY: T

Eruption between Hunga Tonga and Hunga Ha’apai island on 15 Jan (New Zealand High Commission)
Eruption between Hunga Tonga and Hunga Ha’apai island on 15 Jan (New Zealand High Commission)
Base surges from the eruption (Matangi Tonga)
Base surges from the eruption (Matangi Tonga)
Map of the new island (Matangi Tonga)
Map of the new island (Matangi Tonga)
A new island is now growing at the eruption site between Hunga Ha’apai and Hunga Tonga Islands. As of yesterday, it had an east-west elongated 1.5-2 km long and approx. 1 km wide shape with a half-open cone around the crater reaching almost 100 m in height already.
The new island seems already to have touched the northeastern tip of Hunga Ha’apai island. Violent sea-water and lava interaction has been generating jets of dark ash and dense steam plumes reaching several kilometers of height, as well as ground-hugging base surges.
During the past days, ash plumes have remained confined to lower altitudes and most flights in the area have resumed.
The info graphic by Matangi Tonga online puts the submarine vent significantly to the SE of the new island, which suggests the possibility that there might been two vents - one at the shown location in the map, one at or very near the new island where the first steam plumes appeared on satellite imagery from 30 Dec shortly after the start of the eruption.
A red algae bloom observed in nearby waters of Tonga might be indirectly be related to the eruption, because the emission of volcanic particles, fluids and gasses into the sea water is known to favor their growth.
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Links / Sources:
Previous news
Tuesday, Jan 13, 2015
A pilot reported no visible eruptive activity yesterday, but strong sulfur smell at flight level 160, i.e. 16,000 ft (5 km) altitude. [more]
Forcasted volcanic ash plume from the Hunga Haapai volcanic eruption (VAAC Wellington)
Monday, Jan 12, 2015
The submarine eruption has apparently breached the surface. A steam and possibly ash plume was reported to have reached up to 30,000 ft (10 km) above sea level today and yesterday, New Zealand's VAAC Wellington reported, based on pilots' observations. ... [more]
Wednesday, Jan 07, 2015
Activity continues, but seems not to have breached the surface (for now). Recent satellite imagery with clear views show a discolored water plume and a steam plume but no ash, suggesting that that the activity is still well below the surface. ... [more]
Comparison of satellite images of the area of Hunga Tonga-Hunga volcano from 18 and 29 Dec 2014, showing the plume from underwater activity on the latter (images: NASA / annotations: Culture Volcan)
Wednesday, Dec 31, 2014
A new submarine eruption started at the shallow submarine volcano off Tongatapu island in the Tonga archipelago. ... [more]
Wednesday, Mar 18, 2009
A new eruption is taking place in the Tonga islands in the South Sea, between the small islands of Hunga Tonga and Hunga Ha'apai, which are the tiny suaerial parts of a large underwater volcano located about 30 km SSE of Falcon Island. The last eruptions in this area were reported in 1912, 1937 and 1988. ... [more]

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