Tuesday, January 27, 2015

[Geology2] Tonga's new island of ash won't last forever

Tonga's new island of ash won't last forever

January 28 2015
Fatai Fainga'a Jr/Facebook

First close-up images of Tonga's new volcano.

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Tonga's disruptive volcano has gone quiet, leaving behind a temporary island of ash.

Hunga Ha'apai erupted out of the sea 65 kilometres north of the capital Nuku'alofa just before Christmas and this month sent enough ash into the atmosphere to force flights to be diverted or cancelled.

Tonga's National Advisory Centre of the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources said this week that the eruption had stopped and nothing was coming out of the new vent.

READ MORE: Images of the eruption

"There were no signs of any emissions of ash, gas, or steam observed coming out from the vent of the new-formed island," the ministry said. 

It gives a new island to join the kingdom's existing 176.

But it is a 3-square kilometre 120-metre high pile of ash that is expected to be quickly washed away because the eruption had no lava in it. 

It is roughly the size of Auckland's Browns Island or Wellington's Matiu/Somes Island.

This before and after image shows satellite photos the empty sea last just July, and the new volcanic island today.




Posted by: Lin Kerns <linkerns@gmail.com>


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