Eruption chronology of the December 2021 to January 2022 Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai eruption sequence

Ashok Kumar Gupta, Ralf Bennartz, Kristen E. Fauria, Tushar Mittal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations

Abstract

The 15 January 2022 eruption of Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai, and the preceding eruptions on 19 December 2021 and 13 January 2022, were remarkable, partly because the eruptions generated extensive umbrella clouds, regions where the volcanic clouds spread laterally. Here we use satellite remote sensing to evaluate the umbrella cloud tops’ heights, longevities, water contents, and volumetric flow rates. We identified two umbrella clouds at distinct elevations on 15 January 2022. Specifically, after 05:30 UTC, the strong westward propagation of an upper umbrella cloud at 31 km ± 3 km enabled the visibility of the lower umbrella cloud at 17 km ± 2 km. The satellite-derived volumetric flow rate for 15 January 2022 was ~5.0 × 1011 m3 s−1, nearly two orders of magnitude higher than the volumetric flow rates estimated for the 19 December 2021 and 13 January 2022 eruptions. Finally, we found that the umbrellas on all three dates were ice-rich.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number314
JournalCommunications Earth and Environment
Volume3
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Environmental Science
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences

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