Data From Tonga Volcano Eruption May Help Us Cope With Future Tsunamis


An underwater volcano erupted near Tonga in 2022 that wreaked havoc on the island nation. The eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano also caused a tsunami that caused further damage to Tonga. Now, researchers at Japan’s Nagoya University have used data from explosions and disturbances in the Earth’s atmosphere to track the wind waves that led to the tsunami. The findings can now help predict future large waves and tsunamis.

During a tsunami, the lower atmosphere is deformed while sound waves and gravity waves are generated, which causes electron disturbances in the upper atmosphere. Radio waves from satellites and those used in GPS pass through this layer of air which leads to errors in the location information provided by GPS during a natural disaster.

The latest learnpublished in Earth, Planets and Space, a team of researchers used data from GPS and satellites to assess the faults caused by the 2022 eruption of the Tonga volcano. It was noted that this explosion caused high pressure waves as far as Australia and Japan.

These waves lead to oscillations in the lower part of the ionosphere which in turn generate electric fields. The fields are then transmitted to the upper atmosphere at high speed. Scientists noted that the electron charges were detected earlier than the high pressure air waves that led to the tsunami.

“We captured the ionospheric disturbance signal caused by the atmospheric pressure wave about three hours before the pressure wave from the volcanic eruption that is believed to have caused the tsunami in Japan,” said Assistant Professor Atsuki Shinbori, who is also the author of the paper. learn.

“In short, the importance of these results can be divided into two aspects: the scientific aspect of the integrated system, and the disaster prevention aspect of preparing for severe events such as tsunamis,” added Shinbori.

According to the professor, analyzing ionosphere disturbances during volcanic eruptions and monitoring earthquake events can lead to effective tsunami predictions.


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