Volcanic Eruption in Tonga

An underwater volcano erupted in Tonga (a country in the Pacific Ocean) recently. It is called the “Hunga Tonga Hunga Haapai” volcano. The eruption was huge and loud. Though the volcano was located under water and 2,383 km away, it was heard in Tonga. Also, the eruption created tsunami waves.

About the volcano

The volcano had been erupting for some days now. This was identified through the smell of ammonia and sulphur in some areas. The volcano is located in a seismically active area.

Meteo-tsunami waves

The volcanic eruption created tsunami waves in the nearby beaches and also in the regions around the Pacific. The tsunami waves caused by this type of volcano are called meteo tsunami waves. It is caused due to collapse of a part of the volcano. The meteo – tsunami waves are caused by instant changes in pressure that leads to displacement of large amount of water.

Hunga tonga

It is a volcanic island. It is located in Tonga. Tonga is a Polynesian country. It is an archipelago. It consists of 169 islands. It is surrounded by New Caledonia and Vanuatu in the west, Fiji, Futuna and Wallis in the north west, Niue in the east and Kermadec (New Zealand) in the south west.

Hunga Tonga Hunga Haapai

Hunga Tonga and Hunga Haapai were two separate islands. A volcanic eruption merged the two islands. The recent eruption has occurred in this underwater volcano that merges the two islands. The volcano in the island is a part of Kermadec Islands Volcanic arc.

Kermadec Islands Volcanic arc

It is a sub – tropical island arc. It is located in the South Pacific Ocean. It is located to the south west of Tonga and north east of New Zealand. It is located in subduction zone. Subduction zones occur when one heavier and larger tectonic plate dives beneath the other less heavier tectonic plate. Volcanic arc is chain of volcanoes. These volcanoes are formed above the subducting plate. The volcanic arc usually parallel volcanic trench.

The Hunga Tonga Hunga Haapai was formed as the Pacific plate subducts the Indo – Australian plate

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