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Lightning and Volcanoes and Tonga

20 January 2022

At https://phys.org/news/2022-01-volcanic-eruption-hours-long-thunderstorm…. … a study by the US Geological Survey, with input from NOAA, looked at the Taal eruption in the Philippines, which took place a year ago. They found the volcano'es eruption became electrified. Yes, that is what they said – with the meaning it induced lightning. It gave off thousands of cloud to ground lightning exchanges over several hours. It seems that as soon as the volcanic ash plume was high enough to freeze its electrical activity lit up their sensors. Radio waves produced by lightning travel at the speed of light. One features especially intrigued the researchers. The high altitude umbrella cloud was crawling with tiny blue streamers. These are distinct from lightning, it would seem, as they are discharges from cold plasma, ribbons of ionised air. It seems the more recent Tonga volcanic eruption sent a tsunami wave across the Pacific Ocean – and a giant ash cloud overhed produced record amounts of volcanic lightning. See https://doi.org/10.1130/G49490.1

At https://phys.org/news/2022-01-tonga-eruption-ripples-space.html … the January 15th [2022] volcanic explosion generated an enormous cloud of ash, we well as inaugurating earthquakes and a tsunami wave that reached as far as the coast of Peru. The sound of the explosion was heard thousands of miles away. In the Yukon, for example. The pressure sound waves were detected by barometers in the UK. On top of that, the eruption also generated a series of 'atmospheric gravity waves' which were detected by a NASA satellite, generating outwards from the volcano in concentric circles. It seems the atmospheric waves can be generated by geomagnetic storms as well, derived from plasma with an origin in outbursts from the sun. Are the gravity waves, instead, gravity and electromagnetic waves? Earthquakes, volcanoes, solar storms and even the sunrise can apparently induce such waves. There is a video at the link which show these waves rumbling through the atmosphere. Such waves can both move horizontally, and vertically – reaching as high as the ionosphere.

At https://phys.org/news/2022-01-tonga-eruption-big.html … why the Tonga eruption was so big and what comes next? It seems the magma inside the volcano must have been under enormous pressure with various gases trapped and unable to break free. Something induced a sudden drop in pressure, it is theorised, and this allowed gas to expand and blast the magma apart. The crater is 650 feet below the surface and seawater poured into the volcano and turned instantly to steam. This, in turn, led to the rapid expansion and energy of the explosion. One scientist pointed out, all of Tonga's soil has a mostly vol volcanic ash origin and the latest dump of ash would quickly seep into the ground. It will make it more fertile.

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