Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai: Eruption was very strong

The eruption in Tonga does not want to end. VAAC Darwin registered another eruption cloud over Tonga at 12:00 Zulu time. The altitude indication gives a range between 12,000 and 19,000 m.

It is now clear that the damage to the islands of the Kingdom of Tonga is greater than first thought. The tsunamis reached heights of up to 120 cm and caused destruction on the coasts. Most of the islands are covered in volcanic ash and cut off from communication. Saturday’s eruption was also much stronger than initial reports indicated. Volcanic ash was detected at 39 km altitude. The blast wave from the explosion passed around the Earth 4 times.

What made the eruption so strong?

Before the big eruption on Saturday, there were two moderate eruptions and several small ones. The series began on December 20. These eruptions were Surtseyan eruptions in which water already had a hand. Then, in the large eruption, a large amount of seawater probably entered the volcano’s conveyor system and explosively vaporized. Another possibility is that an injection of fresh melt into the magma body occurred, resulting in a reaction between two different magmas. The blast wave from the explosion circled the globe 4 times, causing gravitational shock waves that reached almost into space.

Volcano News 01/14-22: Tonga Hunga

Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai: Eruption triggers small tsunamis

State: Tonga | Coordinates: -20.545; -175.393 | Eruption: Surtseyan

For some days it had become quite quiet around the island volcano Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai, but yesterday it reported back with a powerful eruption. The volcanic eruption is so strong that small tsunamis arrive on the main island of Tonga. The wave heights are a little less than 60 cm. This may not be much, but even small tsunamis can push a few 100 meters inland and cause damage along the coasts. But there are no reports about that at the moment. In any case, the region is on tsunami alert. The height of the ash column is impressive: according to VAAC Wellington, it rose to almost 18,000 meters. The last detected eruption cloud still reached a height of 15,000 m.

Piton de la Fournaise: Eruption has started

Country: France | Coordinates: 21.23, -55.71 | Eruption: flank eruption

Tonight a seismic crisis started at Piton Fournaise caused by rising magma. Only one hour later the tremors reached the surface and tremors started. An eruption had begun. At least 3 eruptive fissures had opened on the southern flank of the volcano. Several small lava fountains were formed feeding lava flows. Due to bad weather, no further details are known yet. The eruption started relatively unexpectedly, although there had already been 2 seismic crises in the last months without an eruption following. Apparently, some magma had already collected underground and now it made the breakthrough.

Hunga-Tonga Ha’apai: Eruption in Tonga.

State: Tonga | Coordinates: -20.545; -175.393 | Eruption: Explosive

In Tonga, the Hunga-Tonga Ha’apai island volcano erupted, producing an eruption cloud that rose several kilometers high. At first, the eruption had been visible on satellite images. In the meantime, photos also appeared on social networks, either taken from neighboring islands, or from aircraft. The VAAC Wellington detected the eruption cloud, but does not give an altitude. The photo shows that the eruption cloud is umbrella-shaped. The umbrella is usually formed when the eruption cloud rises to the limit of the stratosphere, that is, at least 12 km high.

Hunga-Tonga Ha’apai is a young volcanic land that in its current form was formed only in December 2014. Previously, the active vent was submerged and flanked by 2 small islands that merged during the eruption of 7 years ago.

Ear witnesses report that the current eruption was so strong that it could be heard 240 km away.

Vulcano: Gas emission with increasing tendency

State: Italy | Location: 14.87 ; 38.50 | Eruption: Fumarolic

There has been no further ground deformation on Vulcano so far. Nevertheless, the remaining parameters do not give any reason to give the all-clear: fumarole temperatures remain high, with a slight upward tendency. The same is true for gas emissions: carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide emissions are described as very high. The electrical conductivity of the water in several wells is also high. As can be seen, the intrusion so far is affecting large parts of the island. It is still unclear whether a volcanic eruption will eventually occur, but the signs are alarming. In my opinion, phreatic explosions could occur at any time. Before a major magmatic eruption, I would expect a seismic crisis lasting several days and significant ground uplift. (Source INGV)

Nevado del Ruiz with ash clouds

State: Colombia | Coordinates: 34.89, -75.32 | Eruption: Strombolian

In Colombia, the activity of Nevado del Ruiz volcano is slowly but steadily increasing. The ash eruptions are becoming more frequent and are causing concern among the residents of the volcano. Images of the eruptions are now being shared on social media. Most recently, an ash cloud reached 5800 meters today. Last week’s SGC bulletin said that seismicity had continued to increase. The strongest earthquake had a magnitude of 2.1 at a depth of only 3.1 km. Furthermore, a slight increase in ground deformation was recorded. The gas emission was high. The researchers consider a further increase of activity possible. Nevado del Ruiz is particularly dangerous because its summit is glaciated. Meltwater could increase explosive activity, or trigger lahars.

Cumbre Vieja: Tremor high

State: Spain | Coordinates: 28.57, -17.84 | Eruption: flank eruption

Cumbre Vieja emitted so much ash last night that residents reported that it had ceased activity because they could no longer see red glow. VAAC reported volcanic ash at 5500 m altitude. This means it rose 2200 m higher than it did at noon. However, it was not only increased activity that was responsible for the high ascent of the ash, but also calm winds. There were unusually many volcanic lightnings to see. The tremor reached almost as high a level as at the beginning of the eruption. Ground uplift remained constant, but if you take a closer look at the IGN graph you will notice that it has been rescaled: 3 cm are missing. Thus, the ground uplift is now only a little over 12, instead of 15 cm. The lava flow that almost reached the sea yesterday stagnated and came to a halt a few meters from the coast.

Cumbre Vieja: Eruption stable

State: Spain | Coordinates: 28.57, -17.84 | Eruption: Hawaiian

The eruption on La Palma continues and is stable. LiveCam videos show that the remaining lava fountain has been producing lava all night. Lava flows continued to advance, but moved more slowly than anticipated and the postulated Ocean Entry is still a long time coming. Last night, there was a magnitude 3.8 earthquake event, followed by other earth tremors that were somewhat weaker. Further evacuations were initiated due to the new vent that opened yesterday afternoon. There are no signs that the volcanic eruption will end soon.

Cumbre Vieja erupted on La Palma

This afternoon, at about 15:12 local time, the volcano Cumbre Vieja erupted on La Palma. At the edge of the volcanic ridge Cumbre Vieja opened eruption fissures and lava fountains generate lava flows since then. The eruption began with the rise of an ash cloud. The eruption site is close to a settlement and it is likely that destruction of infrastructure will occur. A road has already been overrun by lava. The formation of an ocean entry is also conceivable.

Update 23.00: The eruption on La Palma continues and even intensified. In the late afternoon, more vents opened along a 2nd fissure. In the evening, at least 11 vents were active: 2 vents were strombolian active and produced ash clouds and incandescent tephra, lava fountains were generated from the other vents. The lava ignited trees and flowed from Montaña Rajada towards the settlement of El Paraiso. The first buildings have already been destroyed and major damage is expected. The lava is moving relatively slowly and people have time to flee. More than 1400 people have already left their homes. Emergency plans call for up to 10,000 more people to follow. Besides the lava, there are concerns about forest fires and air pollution.

Volcano Update 19.09.21: Cumbre Vieja

State: Spain | Coordinates: 28.57, -17.84 | Eruption: magma intrusion

A magnitude 3.8 earthquake occurred at Cumbre Vieja on La Palma, with a hypocenter at a depth of only 2 km. The seismicity continued to intensify during the last hours. Several earthquakes could be felt by the population. Since the beginning of the swarm earthquake, 6632 tremors were detected. If the earthquakes in the micorseismic area are added, there were more than 25,000 shakings. The ground uplift is up to 15 cm. It is noticeable that the number of shallow earthquakes increases at depths of less than 6 km. It cannot be excluded that the final magma uplift has already started and that an eruption will occur already in the next hours/days. As always, no one knows for sure what will happen. The magma could still get stuck in the earth’s crust.