Underwater volcano near Tonga
25th Jan, 2022
The Hunga Tonga–Hunga Ha?apai volcano has caused significant damage in Tonga.
The country profile
- Tonga is a Polynesian country of more than 170 South Pacific islands, of which 36 are inhabited, and home to about 100,000 people.
- It's a remote archipelago that lies about 800 kilometers (500 miles) east of Fiji and 2,380 kilometers (1,500 miles) from New Zealand.
Ring of Fire
- There are some 1,350 potentially active volcanoes around the world.
- Many are located along a 40,000km (25,000-mile) arc along the Pacific known as the “Ring of Fire”, which is also where about 90 percent of all earthquakes occur.
- Tonga is home to several volcanoes, all along the Ring of Fire.
Where is Tonga's Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Ha'apai volcano?
- The Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Ha'apai volcano, about 30 kilometers (20 miles) southeast of Tonga's Fonuafo'ou island, sits underwater between two small islands at about 2,000 meters (6,500 feet) high from the sea floor, with about 100 meters (328 feet) visible above sea level.
How do underwater volcanoes occur?
- There is no specific difference in the formation of submarine (underwater) and subaerial (on land) volcanoes.
- An undersea or submarine volcano is located below the ocean surface and mostly erupts underwater.
- Volcanoes form when molten rock is produced in the second layer of the Earth's interior — the mostly solid upper mantle — and makes its way through the crust.
- About “three-quarters of all volcanic activity on Earth actually occurs underwater”.
- During an eruption, hot magma forces the oceanic crust open. This can lead to tsunamis – a series of ocean waves caused by the displacement of water.