Tonga Volcano Eruption & Tsunami | How Underwater Volcanoes Erupt

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Tonga Volcano Eruption & Tsunami | How Underwater Volcanoes Erupt

Tonga is about 1 800 kilometres away from New Zealand's north island. There are many small nation islands in the south pacific ocean. Now, what ha

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Tonga is about 1 800 kilometres away from New Zealand’s north island. There are many small nation islands in the south pacific ocean.

Now, what happened was on January 16th. An underwater volcano erupted near one of the islands in Tonga.

The name of that island is Hung Tonga. It is located to the north of the main island of Tonga. A few days back, you must have heard in the news that there was a volcanic eruption on the island of Tonga.

volcanic eruption on the island of tonga.
Volcanic Eruption On The Island of Tonga.

Tonga Volcano Eruption 2022 Location

Tonga is an island country in the south pacific ocean. It is surrounded by the island of Fiji Wallis and Futuna, which is a French island to the northwest.

Tonga Volcano Eruption 2022 Location

Then there is the Samoa island to the northeast. After that, there is the island of new Saladonia, a French territory. Then we have the island of Vanuatu to the west. the nearest foreign environment is the island of a new year on the east. Finally, in the southwestern region, the Kermadec island is part of New Zealand.

Tonga is about 1 800 kilometres away from New Zealand’s north island. There are many small nation islands in the south pacific ocean.

Now, what happened was on January 16th. An underwater volcano erupted near one of the islands in Tonga.

The name of that island is hung tonga. it is located to the north of the main
island of tonga.

So What is an Underwater Volcano?

Underwater volcanoes are also called submarine volcanoes.

Let me explain how a volcano erupts underwater. When there is a divergent plate boundary in the ocean, in other words, when two oceanic plates are moving away from each other molten basaltic magma from the mantle comes up and spreads on the ocean surface.

It is also called a mid oceanic ridge. When magma comes out, it forms an underwater volcano or submarine volcano.

A good example is the Atlantic oceanic ridge. It is an excellent example of a divergent plate boundary.

Now divergence happens in two continental plates, too. that is how oceans form. Volcanoes don’t start that way. Only oceans are formed.

Now underwater volcanoes are also found near convergent plate boundaries. When a heavier plate converges or slides beneath the lighter plate, that is called subduction.

Now, convergence can happen between two continental plates, two oceanic plates and even between one oceanic and one continental plate.

During subduction, trenches are formed since the heavy tectonic plate is pushed beneath the lighter plate and deep into the mantle causing the seafloor and outer crust that is the lithosphere to bend and form a steep v-shaped depression. Now, this causes earthquakes and underwater volcanic eruptions.

Tonga’s volcanic eruption is due to subduction and not sea flow spreading. Subduction is caused due to convergence, and sea flow spreading is caused due to the divergence plate boundary.

If you look at the island of Tonga. In that case, it sits at the Centre of two major tectonic plates, the Indo Australian plate in the west and the pacific plate in the east . since the pacific plate is denser, it slides beneath the indo-Australian plate. Tonga, New Zealand, becomes the subduction zone.

As I’ve mentioned, subduction zones are prone to earthquakes and underwater volcanoes. that is why you must have heard in the news that right after the volcanic eruption in tonga, an earthquake triggered a tsunami.

So underwater volcano earthquake and tsunami all happened because the pacific plate was sliding beneath the indo-Australian plate.

Now the exact reasons why two continental and oceanic plates converge or diverge? Where and how does it happen? Is still being studied, it is not that easy to understand and explore this whole creation in its most total sense.

If you notice, I use the word creation. If we pay attention to anything in this world, even our own body, we can closely see that there is creation our body cells are regenerating every single second. It is an ongoing process that will go on until we die, but the only mind-boggling thing is who the creator is because if there is creation, there has to be a creator. We cannot separate the two similarly. When two continental plates or oceanic plates converge or diverge, it is still being studied, although there are theories, what is the exact reason behind.

We still don’t know, and maybe perhaps we may never know the precise reason behind it. As I said, it’s an ongoing process if something is constantly evolving and changing. It isn’t easy to study it because there will be too many variables, too many patterns beyond human comprehension anyway; I hope you have now understood how an underwater volcano occurs.

Now let me elaborate on the creation part after this incident in tonga as usual social media was flooded with videos and photos now, needless to say, this volcanic eruption has caused significant damage, so from a human’s perspective, yes, we look at it as damage loss, but if you look at it from nature’s the air, it is called creation.

I’ll explain, how?

Now, what happens as the underwater volcano continues to erupt. All the lava that comes out of the earth’s crust piles up on the seafloor. Eventually forming an underwater mountain as the volcano erupt, the underwater mountain’s elevation grows higher and higher. It is finally breaking the surface of the water. Once it is out of the water, it becomes an oceanic island.

So, this is how a volcanic island or a seamount is formed. In the next stage, tiny sea animals called corals begin to build a reef around this island.

These corals are very hard in nature. It surrounds the island just below the ocean’s surface. Over millions of years, the volcanic island erodes and sinks to the seafloor. This process is called subsidence. The seamount erodes into the sea, and its top portion is made flat by the constant pounding of mighty ocean waves and wind.

Ultimately the island sinks below the sea, and all you can see is a ring-shaped island formed with a coral reef that is what is known as an atoll. And in between, you’ll have a pool of water called a lagoon. So this is the creation I was talking about. It’s an ongoing process of destruction and creation.

We, humans, are in between for maintenance. The planet is not going anywhere we are, if you see. Humans are only interested in keeping our habitat clean to live comfortably. But nature is the opposite. It heals itself. It’s a self-correcting system.

Tonga Volcano Eruption & Tsunami

Of course, the damages caused by this natural calamity is massive. It’s an island. After all, help doesn’t arrive that early because communication lines are down, the ash cloud due to volcanic eruption has caused some contamination homes are filled with flooded water, the explosion was so powerful.

Tonga: new footage shows aftermath of volcano eruption and tsunami

Tonga volcano eruption video 2022

It was even heard ten thousand kilometers away in Mexico and Alaska. The volcano’s eruption lasted at least eight minutes and sent plumes of gas ash and smoke several kilometers into the air. The earthquake was of 5.8 magnitudes. The shock wave was enough to create waves of 1.2 meters high at Japan’s pacific coast and South American west coast.

I hope you found this content informative. Thank you for reading it.

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