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Atmospheric waves and global seismoacoustic observations of the January 2022 Hunga eruption, Tonga

May 12, 2022

The 15 January 2022 climactic eruption of Hunga volcano, Tonga, produced an explosion in the atmosphere of a size that has not been documented in the modern geophysical record. The event generated a broad range of atmospheric waves observed globally by various ground-based and spaceborne instrumentation networks. Most prominent was the surface-guided Lamb wave (≲0.01 hertz), which we observed propagating for four (plus three antipodal) passages around Earth over 6 days. As measured by the Lamb wave amplitudes, the climactic Hunga explosion was comparable in size to that of the 1883 Krakatau eruption. The Hunga eruption produced remarkable globally detected infrasound (0.01 to 20 hertz), long-range (~10,000 kilometers) audible sound, and ionospheric perturbations. Seismometers worldwide recorded pure seismic and air-to-ground coupled waves. Air-to-sea coupling likely contributed to fast-arriving tsunamis. Here, we highlight exceptional observations of the atmospheric waves.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2022
Title Atmospheric waves and global seismoacoustic observations of the January 2022 Hunga eruption, Tonga
DOI 10.1126/science.abo7063
Authors Robin S. Matoza, David Fee, Jelle D. Assink, Alexandra M. Iezzi, David N. Green, Keehoon Kim, Liam Toney, Thomas Lecocq, Siddharth Krishnamoorthy, Jean-Marie Lalande, Kiwamu Nishida, Kent L. Gee, Matthew M. Haney, Hugo D. Ortiz, Quentin Brissaud, Léo Martire, Lucie Rolland, Panagiotis Vergados, Alexandra Nippress, Junghyun Park, Shahar Shani-Kadmiel, Alex Witsil, Stephen Arrowsmith, Corentin Caudron, Shingo Watada, Anna Perttu, Benoit Taisne, Pierrick Mialle, Alexis Le Pichon, Julien Vergoz, Patrick Hupe, Philip S. Blom, Roger M. Waxler, Silvio De Angelis, Jonathan Snively, Adam T. Ringler, Robert E. Anthony, Arthur Din Jolly, Geoff Kilgour, Gil Averbuch, Maurizio Ripepe, Mie Ichihara, Alejandra Arciniega-Ceballos, Elvira Astafyeva, Lars Ceranna, Sandrine Cevuard, Il-Young Che, Rodrigo de Negri Leiva, Carl W. Ebeling, Läslo G. Evers, Luis E. Franco-Marin, Tom Gabrielson, Katrin Hafner, R. Giles Harrison, Attila Komjathy, Giorgio Lacanna, John J. Lyons, Kenneth A. Macpherson, Emanuele Marchetti, Kathleen McKee, Rob Mellors, Gerardo Mendo-Pérez, T. Dylan Mikesell, Edhah Munaibari, Mayra Oyola-Merced, Iseul Park, Christoph Pilger, Cristina Ramos, Mario Ruiz, Roberto Sabatini, Hans Schwaiger, Dorianne Tailpied, Carrick Talmadge, Jérôme Vidot, Jeremy Webster, David C. Wilson
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Science
Index ID 70236647
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Geologic Hazards Science Center; Volcano Science Center