Huge underwater eruption in progress

“A hazard to shipping, locally.”

31 Jan 2017 – A New Zealand scientist has unexpectedly discovered a huge undersea volcanic eruption near the main island of Tonga.

While scanning satellite images today, University of Auckland coastal geomorphologist Dr Murray Ford observed a vast plume about 18 miles long and 12 miles wide (30km by 20km ) just off the coast of Tonga’s main island Tongatapu.

Volcanic plume near Tonga – 31Jan2017 – Photo/NASA

A photo of the plume, which looks like a greenish cloud, was captured by the USGS/NASA Landsat 8 satellite on January 27.

Ford immediately contacted volcanologists who in turn alerted colleagues in Tonga and the Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre.

“We are now relatively confident that these images are representing a submarine eruption,” said GNS Science volcanologist Brad Scott.

“(The plume is) in an area of known volcanism and often, naturally there will be a hazard to shipping, locally,” said Scott.

And we wonder what is heating our seas.

Read more:

Thanks to John Zielinski for this link

8 thoughts on “Huge underwater eruption in progress

  1. Should be relatively easy to check if there are coeval seismic events at the same location.

    As far as plumes of material in the ocean, there are other possibilities such as plumes of spawning polyps from coral, such as happens on the barrier reef. This is visible from satellite imagery.

    Don’t know if there are corals close enough to have caused this at this location.

  2. Checking the USGS earthquake maps.
    There doesn’t seem to have been any recorded quakes in that particular area in the last week or so.
    Although that not be an issue with some eruptions – such as at Kilauea.

  3. there have been sh!tloads of quakes all across the island areas recently
    so not unexpected something given way
    be interesting to see if they find a mass of floating pumice soon

  4. There is a huge coronal hole facing the Earth and the solar wind strength is high so earthquake/volcanic eruption is expected somewhere. Doesn’t have to be on land.

  5. Fire up google earth, update it with the known volcanoes KML and you can clearly see the area in question.

    It would be great if they had a recent update showing all volcanoes at this point. They recently mapped a large amount of unknown volcanoes while looking for the Malaysia Airlines plane that went down.

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