Posted by: ctbtonewsroom | January 29, 2015

CTBTO infrasound stations ‘hear’ birth of Tonga island

Detection of two consecutive eruptions on 15 January 2015 by IS22 (New Caledonia) at a distance of ~ 1,900 km.

Detection of two consecutive eruptions on 15 January 2015 by IS22 (New Caledonia) at a distance of ~ 1,900 km.

Triangulation of the event by IS22 (New Caledonia), IS40 (Papua New Guinea) and IS59 (Hawaii).

Triangulation of the event by IS22 (New Caledonia), IS40 (Papua New Guinea) and IS59 (Hawaii).

CTBTO’s infrasound stations recently detected a volcanic outbreak that lead to the creation of a new island in the Tonga archipelago, Pacific Ocean.

While scanning the globe for signs of nuclear explosions, the CTBTO’s stations detect a myriad of other phenomena, such as volcanic outbreaks. These data can be used for warning aviation about ash clouds that can clog jet engines.

See the CTBTO disaster warning page and also article by Popular Science for images of the island & background:

“There’s a new island in the Pacific Ocean, thanks to an underwater volcano eruption that’s been going on for the past month.

The new island is in the Tonga archipelago–a group of islands southeast of Fiji. Scientists discovered it on January 16, about a month into the volcano’s eruption. The volcano, called Hunga Tonga, has since stopped erupting.

The island is mostly made of ash and formed around the crater of the volcano, measuring a little more than half a mile wide. The before-and-after images, from the Pleiades satellite, gives a clear picture of how far the ash spread, extending toward on of the two islands that border the underground volcano.”


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