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Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai Eruption Research

2022 - 2025

On 15 January 2022, the Hunga Tonga - Hunga Ha'apai (HTHH) volcano north of Tongatapu in the south west Pacific erupted. This eruption provided the opportunity to study the microphysical processes that occur when sulfur dioxide gas is emitted into the stratosphere. NOAA and CIRES scientists joined colleagues on La Réunion, an island in the Indian Ocean, to make in situ measurements in the sulfur plume deployed by high altitude research balloons. These efforts have resulted in scientific findings increasing in our understanding of the evolution of the volcanic contribution to stratospheric aerosol. CSL researchers have published or contributed to peer-reviewed science papers on these topics:

underwater volcano
Volcanic eruption of Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai. Illustration: Yunqian Zhu, NOAA / CIRES

Field Campaigns

TR2EX 2022
TR2EX 2022: Eruption provides rare opportunity to study volcanic gas and ash injected into the stratosphere Read More

SPARC Activity

SPARC HTHH Impacts Activity
NOAA / CIRES scientist Yunqian Zhu is co-chair on the Stratosphere-troposphere Processes And their Role in Climate (SPARC) activity Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai Impacts.