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Hunga Tonga–Hunga Ha'apai Volcano UPSC NOTE

 Hunga Tonga–Hunga Ha'apai volcano

  • Hunga Tonga–Hunga Haʻapai is a submarine volcano in the South Pacific.

  • It is part of the highly active Kermadec-Tonga subduction zone and its associated volcanic arc, which extends from New Zealand north-northeast to Fiji, and is formed by the subduction of the Pacific Plate under the Indo-Australian Plate.

  • It lies about 100 km above a very active seismic zone.

  • The volcano rises around 2,000 m from the seafloor and has a caldera which – on the eve of the 2022 eruption – was roughly 150 m below sea level and 4 km at its widest extent.

  • The only major above-water part of the volcano are the twin uninhabited islands of Hunga Tonga and Hunga Haʻapai, which are respectively part of the northern and western rim of the caldera.

  • As a result of the volcano's eruptive history, the islands existed as single landmass from 2015 to 2022: 

  • They were merged by a volcanic cone in a VEI 2 volcanic eruption in 2014–2015.

  • They were separated again by a more explosive eruption in 2022, which also reduced the islands in size.

  • Its most recent eruption in January 2022 generated a tsunami that reached as far as the coasts of Japan and of the Americas and a volcanic plume that reached 58 km into the mesosphere. 

  • As of May 2022 the eruption is the largest volcanic eruption in the 21st century. 

2022 Hunga Tonga–Hunga Haʻapai eruption and tsunami

  • In December 2021, an eruption began on Hunga Tonga–Hunga Haʻapai.

  • The eruption reached a very large and powerful climax nearly four weeks later, on 15 January 2022.

  • In the Volcanic Explosivity Index scale, the eruption was rated at least a VEI-5.

  • Described by scientists as a "magma hammer", the volcano at its height produced a series of four underwater thrusts, displaced 10 cubic kilometres of rock, ash and sediment.

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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: Hunga Tonga–Hunga Ha'apai Volcano UPSC NOTE
Hunga Tonga–Hunga Ha'apai Volcano UPSC NOTE
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