Tonga Boom! Undersea volcano erupts off Tonga

Imagine being on a fishing boat making a holiday video and then the whole ocean explodes around you. Well that’s not exactly what happened, but it would be a good story…

According to the Global Volcanism Program, this volcano started to erupt on the 16th or 17th March and has been going since. This video shows a team of scientists who took their boat out to the site to capture footage and record local and wide-spread changes. Apparently, no-one has been hurt by the volcano.

To see some aerial photos of the volcano, with coordinates, visit the ASTER volcano archive.

Click on the image below for some great photos from the Guardian.

A spectacular cloud of ash and steam

A spectacular cloud of ash and steam

As you can see, the plume of ash and steam is huge. A line from the AP states “the eruption does not pose any danger to islanders at this stage, and there have been no reports of fish or other animals being affected” – other than by the great big explosion, then.

To learn more about volcanoes in general, visit the Science Education Resource Centre’s Volcano visualisation library. For more about how underwater volcanoes are monitored, check out this flash animation from NeMO Net, from NOAA.

For another good article on vocanoes, click on the image below to see what Wired.com has to say

Mt Cleveland erupting, as seen from space

Mt Cleveland erupting, as seen from space

About Stephen

Director of Learning & MYP Coordinator at Canadian Academy, Kobe, Japan. Formerly MYP HS Science & IBDP Bio teacher and missing it terribly. Twitterist (@sjtylr), dad and bloggerer.

Posted on March 23, 2009, in Geosciences & Geology, Science News, Uncategorized, YouTube and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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