A volcanic eruption under the water near the Pacific country of Tonga in January 2022, sent a huge pressure wave through the atmosphere of the earth, a research published in the journal Science on May 12, 2022, said. Before this, the last volcano that generated such large ripples across the earth’s atmosphere was Krakatau in 1883, which was one of the world’s most destructive volcanic eruptions that was recorded.
“This atmospheric wave event was unprecedented in the modern geophysical record,” Live Science quoted Robin Matoza, one of the authors, an associate professor in the Department of Earth Science at the University of California, as saying in an email. Talking about the research he noted that the pressure pulse that was generated by the volcano “comparable in amplitude to that of the 1883 Krakatau eruption and over an order of magnitude greater than that of the 1980 Mount St. Helens eruption.”
The waves were so devastating that they triggered winds with a speed of nearly 450 mph (720 kmph). This was more than the official edge of space, the Karman line at the altitude of 62 miles (100 km). Notably, the strongest hurricanes across the world can reach a maximum of close to 200 mph (320 kmph) wind speed.
Another study that was also published in the same edition of the journal too noted that the strong pulse also sent ripples racing across the ocean. According to the report, atmospheric waves created small, fast-traveling meteotsunamis reached the shores much before tsunamis generated by the volcano’s blast.
According to reports, the blast was so strong that it could be heard more than 6,000 miles (10,000 km). The pressure wave created by it circled the planet four times. While it did not create much harm, only three people lost their lives in the tsunami triggered by the eruption in Tonga.