Satellite image of Tonga eruption 18 March 2009Posted by admin in activity reports, eruptions, Pacific, submarine volcanism, Tonga.
Tags: submarine volcanism, Tonga, volcanic activity reports, volcanic eruptions
The MODIS equipment on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured a true-colour image of the submarine eruption of Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai in Tonga at 01:45GMT (14:45 local time) on 18 March 2009. The full-size image can be found at the NASA MODIS Rapid Response site. Below is a detail of the image showing the eruption (yellow arrow). North is at the top; the island at the lower edge is Tongatapu Island, where the Tongan capital Nuku’alofa is located, while upper right are the islands of the Nomuka Group. The eruption is producing a dense plume of steam which shows up white against the ocean. Volcanic ash can be seen floating on the ocean surface around the plume.
Click here to view the original full-size image (at 250m per pixel scale – other resolutions can be selected) at the NASA MODIS Rapid Response site. There is also now a nice clear mapped version here.
(Thanks to Robert Simmon of NASA for drawing my attention to this image.)
UPDATE: This image is now available at the NASA Earth Observatory, in the ‘natural hazards’ category: Submarine Eruption in the Tonga Islands (18 March 2009).
Global Volcanism Program: Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai – summary information about Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai (0403-04=)
Tonga volcanoes and volcanics – overview from the USGS