LEARNING ABOUT SOME OF THE FORMERLY UNKNOWN UNKNOWNS: Hidden Impacts of Ferocious Volcanic Eruption Finally Revealed.
Undersea volcanic eruptions account for more than three-quarters of all volcanism on Earth, but rarely do we see the impacts.
The Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai eruption of 2022 was a dramatic exception. Its furious explosion from shallow waters broke the ocean surface and punched through the stratosphere, generating supercharged lighting and an atmospheric shock wave that circled the globe several times. . . .
Their analyses show at least 6 cubic kilometers (km3) of seafloor was lost from within the caldera – 20 times the eruptive volume of the 1980 Mount St. Helens eruption – and an additional 3.5 km3 of material was blasted out of the Hunga volcano’s submerged flanks.
To put that in perspective, previous studies of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai eruption estimated that 1.9 km3 (or 2,900 megatonnes) of material was ejected into the atmosphere.
That leaves roughly four-fifths of the ejected material in the ocean; material that was funneled into fast-moving density flows that scoured out tracks 30 meters deep in the seafloor and accumulated 22 meters (72 feet) thick in some places.
Almost as destructive to the planet as my SUV.