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Hunga Tonga–Hunga Haʻapai (HTHH) Volcano

 Jun 13, 2024   Admin

A new study published recently shows that the January 15, 2022, eruption of the Hunga Tonga–Hunga Haʻapai Volcano could cause unusual weather for the rest of the decade.

About Hunga Tonga–Hunga Haʻapai (HTHH):

  • It is a submarine stratovolcano in the Tongan archipelago in the southern Pacific Ocean.
  • The HTHH volcano includes the small islands of Hunga Tonga and Hunga Ha’apai, along with shallow reefs along the caldera rim of a much larger submarine edifice in the western South Pacific Ocean, west of the main inhabited islands in the Kingdom of Tonga. 
  • It is located about 30 km south of the submarine volcano of Fonuafoʻou and 65 km north of Tongatapu, the country's main island.
  • The volcano is part of the highly active Tonga–Kermadec Islands volcanic arc, a subduction zone extending from New Zealand north-northeast to Fiji.
  • The Tonga-Kermadec arc was formed as a result of the subduction of the Pacific Plate beneath the Indo-Australian Plate. 
  • It has erupted regularly over the past few decades.
  • What is a Stratovolcano?

  • It is a tall, steep and cone-shapedtype of volcano.
  • Unlike flat shield volcanoes, they have higher peaks.
  • They are typically found above subduction zones, and they are often part of large volcanically active regions, such as the Ring of Fire that frames much of the Pacific Ocean.
  • Stratovolcanoes comprise the largest percentage(~60%) of the Earth's individual volcanoes and most are characterized by eruptions of andesite and dacite, lavas that are cooler and more viscous than basalt.
  • These more viscous lavas allow gas pressures to build up to high levels. Therefore, these volcanoes often suffer explosive eruptions
  • They are usually about half-half lava and pyroclastic material and the layering of these products gives them their other common name, composite volcanoes.
  • At their peak, they usually have a small crater. The crater may be filled with water or ice, or it may contain a volcanic dome during a period of relative inactivity.
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