June 8, 2023


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Home Reef Erupts Annotated

A brand new island appears in the Pacific Ocean

Main countryside erupts. September 14, 2022. (Click on the image for a larger view.)

Home Reef Explodes in the Southwest Pacific

The underwater volcano again created a small island.

In the southwestern Pacific Ocean, there is a ridge on the sea floor with highest density The underwater volcanoes of the world stretch from New Zealand to Tonga. On September 10, 2022, one of these underwater volcanoes woke up. Since then, the Home Country Seamounts on the Central Tonga Islands have repeatedly spewed steam and ash plumes out, scattering lava and discoloring the surrounding water.

Eleven hours after the eruption first erupted, a new island has risen above the water’s surface. Operational Earth Imager-2 (OLI-2) on Landsat 9 captured this natural-colored view (see image above) of the young island on September 14, 2022, as plumes of discolored water spewed nearby. previous search It indicates that the superheated acidic seawater plumes contain volcanic rock fragments, particulate matter and sulfur.

The Kermadec-Tonga subduction zone is a convergent plate boundary extending northward from the North Island of New Zealand. The formation of the Kermadec and Tonga plates began about 4-5 million years ago. Currently, the eastern boundary of the Tonga Plate is one of the fastest subduction zones, averaging 24 cm (9 in) per year. The trench formed between Kermadec-Tonga and the Pacific Plates is also home to the second deepest trench in the world, at about 10,800 meters (35,400 ft), as well as the longest chain of submerged volcanoes.

On September 14, researchers from Tonga’s Geological Services estimated the island’s area at 4,000 square meters (43,000 square feet/1 acre) and an elevation of 10 meters (33 feet) above sea level. by September 20 The island has grown to cover 24,000 square meters (258,000 square feet/6 acres). New Island is located southwest of Late Island, northwest of Mo’unga’one, and northeast Honga Tonga – Hong Happi.

Home Reef is located within the Karmadec Tonga Subduction Zone, an area where three tectonic plates collide as fast as they can convergent boundaries In the world. The Pacific plate here sinks under two other small plates, leading to one of Earth’s deepest and most energetic trenches. volcanic arcs.

Islands created by submarines are often short-lived, although sometimes they last for years. Home Reef has experienced four recorded periods of eruptions, including events in 1852 and 1857. Small islands formed temporarily after both events, eruptions in 1984 and 2006 It produced ephemeral islands with cliffs 50 to 70 meters (160 to 230 ft) high. An island created by a 12-day eruption of the nearby Latiki volcano in 2020 Wash after two monthswhile a former island created in 1995 by the same volcano has remained for 25 years.

“The volcano poses a low risk to the aviation community and residents of Vava’u and Hapai,” Tonga Geological Services said in an update released on September 20. Home Reef until further notice.” The service noted that most of the ash should fall within a few kilometers of the vent.

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