the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano. | UH


Last month’s eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano in the Tonga that destroyed a large part of an island and generated a tsunami that affected a large part of the Pacific Ocean was also felt in the Balearics.

Some 16 hours after the explosion, barographs (an instrument for reading atmospheric pressure values) in the Balearic Islands detected some very unusual oscillations and small meteotsunams were generated in ports in Minorca and Mallorca such as Ciutadella and Porto Cristo.

Barographers all over the world also detected these oscillations and the scientific community speculated that they might be related to the explosion of the volcano. For this reason, researchers from the Sea Level and Climate research group at the University of the Balearics (UIB) tried to model them in order to have a global vision of the event.

The result is the simulation shared by Dr. Àngel Amores on his Twitter account. The map shows a moment of the explosion’s ripple around the world, from its generation in Tonga to North Africa, passing through the Balearics as it continued to travel around the Earth, passing through the islands on at least two more occasions during a period of 36 hours, which is the time it takes for this atmospheric wave to make a complete circle of the globe. The graph also shows that every time the ripple passed through the Balearics, the barograph at Ciutadella oscillates.

The eruption of the volcano on the Tonga archipelago was hundreds of times more powerful than the atomic bomb at Hiroshima, according to NASA.