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Tonga Volcano Eruption Causes Sea Level Changes

Last updated on 17th January 2022

The tsunami triggered by the eruption of a underwater volcano in Tonga (Pacific Ocean) has caused sea level changes in Portugal especially Peniche, the Azores, and Madeira announced the Portuguese Institute of Atmosphere and Sea (IPMA) this evening.

The greatest increase in sea levels was measured in Ponta Delgada, Azores at 40 cm, Madeira (Funchal) 20 cm, and less than 20 cm for mainland Portugal, except for Peniche which registered a 39 cm sea level increase.

The IPMA went on to say that “the origin of these records is related to the atmospheric shock wave resulting from the explosion of the volcano, which spread across the globe, generating particular conditions over the oceans that potentiate the generation of a “meteorological tsunami of volcanic origin.

This tsunami, generated in the Pacific Ocean, spread across various oceans, including the Atlantic, with variations in sea levels being observed in practically all Portuguese coast tide gauge stations.  The IPMA have confirmed that they are monitoring the development of the situation.

The eruption of Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai, an uninhabited island of Tonga on Friday, triggered a tsunami that affected the Pacific, from Japan to Peru and the United States, with several warnings being issued in the region yesterday.

Samantha Gannon

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Photo: Photoholgic- Unsplash

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