Record-shattering Tonga volcanic eruption sent atmospheric waves zipping around the Earth

An underwater volcano erupted in January near the Pacific nation of Tonga and sent massive waves of pressure through Earth’s atmosphere, where they smashed into the planet multiple times. A new study shows that the last volcano to produce such large ripples in the atmosphere was Krakatau in 1883, during one of the most destructive volcanic eruptions in recorded history.

“This atmospheric wave event is unprecedented in the modern geophysical record,” said first author Robin Matoza, an associate professor in the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of California, Santa Barbara. The study, published Thursday (May 12) in the journal Sciencerevealed that the pressure pulse was generated by Tonga volcano is “comparable in amplitude to that of the Krakatau eruption of 1883 and to an order of magnitude greater than that of 1980. Mount St. Helens Matoza told Live Science in an email. The higher the amplitude of the wave, the stronger it is.

https://www.livescience.com/atmospheric-pressure-waves-from-hunga-volcano Record-shattering Tonga volcanic eruption sent atmospheric waves zipping around the Earth

Russell Falcon

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