The eruption of Tonga may have spawned a tsunami as tall as the Statue of Liberty.

The eruption of Tonga may have spawned a tsunami as tall as the Statue of Liberty.

The recent eruption of the Tonga volcano generated a set of planet-circling tsunamis. These tsunamis may have started out as a single mound of water, which

What’s more, the explosive eruption triggered an immense atmospheric shock wave that spawned a second set of especially fast-moving tsunamis, a rare phenomenon that can complicate early warnings for these oft-destructive waves, researchers report

As the Hunga Tonga–Hunga Ha’apai undersea volcano erupted in the South Pacific in January, it displaced a large volume of water upward, says Mohammad Heidarzadeh, a civil engineer at the University of Bath in England. The water in that colossal mound later “ran downhill,

Heidarzadeh and his team used computer simulations, as well as data from deep-ocean instruments and coastal tide gauges within about 1,500 kilometers of the eruption, many of them in or near New Zealand. The arrival times of tsunami waves, as well as their sizes, at those locations were key pieces of data, He

The team analyzed nine possibilities for the initial wave, each of which was shaped like a baseball pitcher’s mound and had a distinct height and diameter. The best fit to the real-world data came from a mound of water a whopping 90 meters tall and 12 kilometers in diameter, the researchers report

“The wave itself would have been about the size of the island of Manhattan.” The Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004 was one of the

In 2011, a tsunami with waves as high as 9 meters (30 feet) hit the Tohoku region of Japan, causing devastation and killing nearly 16,000 people. In contrast, a similar tsunami that struck the Tonga islands in the South

The eruption of the Tongan island of Niuafo'ou in the South Pacific Ocean was unusual for several reasons. One was the

When a volcano erupts, the magma chamber beneath it can become filled with seawater. If the water is heated to a high enough temperature, it can create a steam explosion. This explosion can create a pressure pulse that can travel across the ocean at speeds exceeding 300 meters per second. This

A tsunami is a series of waves in the ocean caused by the displacement of a large volume of water, usually resulting from an earthquake. earthquakes generate tsunamis by displacing the water in the ocean. This displacement of water can create waves that are hundreds of feet tall and travel at speeds of up to 500 miles per hour. When these waves reach land, they can cause catastrophic damage to coastal communities.

Volcanic eruptions can generate tsunamis in two ways. The first and most common is when the eruption column falls into the water and

Heiderzadeh's research found that the pressure-wave tsunamis generated by the Tongan volcanic eruption were comparable in size to the gravity-driven tsunamis. This could complicate early warnings for these

One way to address the issue of not being able to detect tsunamis until they hit land would be to install instruments that measure atmospheric pressure with the deep-sea equipment already in place. Hermann Fritz, a tsunami

When a tsunami wave passes through a deep ocean, it sets off a pressure pulse that can be detected by seismometers on the seafloor. This information can be used to estimate the speed of the tsunami wave,

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