An evasive airwave was detected during the eruption of the Tonga volcano

Satellite image of the volcanic eruption in Tonga, 2022. Credit: NASA Worldview, NOAA/NESDIS/STAR

The catastrophic eruption of the Hongga Tonga-Hanga Hawapai volcano in 2022 triggered a special atmospheric wave that has been elusive for the past 85 years. Researchers from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, the Japan Agency for Marine Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC), and the University of Kyoto have relied on the latest observational data and computer simulations to detect the presence of Becques waves – fluctuations in air pressure that were postulated in 1937 but not proven to occur in nature, until now. .

The study was published in Journal of Atmospheric Sciences.

An eruption in the South Pacific earlier this year unleashed what was probably the most powerful eruption the world has seen since the famous 1883 eruption of Mount Krakatau in Indonesia. The rapid release of energy triggered pressure waves in the atmosphere that quickly spread around the world.

The atmospheric wave pattern near the eruption was very complex, but thousands of miles away, the turbulence was driven by an isolated wave front traveling horizontally at more than 650 miles per hour as it spread outward. Air pressure disturbances associated with the primary wave front have been clearly seen in thousands of barometer records worldwide.

said Kevin Hamilton, professor emeritus of atmospheric sciences in the UH Mānoa College of Ocean and Earth Sciences and Technology.

“These movements are now known as Lamb waves. In 1937, the American-Israeli mathematician and geophysicist Chaim Beckers extended Lamb’s theoretical treatment and concluded that a second wave solution at a slower horizontal speed is also possible. A slower wave pressure observations after the Krakatau eruption but failed to provide convincing case.






Credit: Escrow

Wave identification successfully

Scientists have applied a wide range of tools now available, including geostationary satellite observations, computer simulation And very dense networks Pressure Observations, to successfully identify the Pekeris wave in the atmosphere after the eruption of Tonga.

Lead author, Shingo Watanabe, Deputy Director of the Japan Agency for Marine Earth Science and Technology Research Center for Environmental Modeling, conducted computer simulations of the Tonga response. eruption.

“When we investigated computer simulations and pulsation observations over the entire Pacific Basin, we found that the slower wave front could be seen over large areas and that its characteristics matched those predicted by Pecres nearly a century ago,” Hamilton said.


The massive eruption of the Tonga volcano provides a blast of data about atmospheric waves


more information:
Shingo Watanabe et al, First discovery of global internal atmospheric resonance for Bekereis: Evidence from the 2022 Tonga eruption and from global reanalysis data, Journal of Atmospheric Sciences (2022). DOI: 10.1175/JAS-D-22-0078.1

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