Scientists discover that Tonga volcano eruption caused abundant ocean blooms

(ORDO NEWS) — The powerful eruption of the Tonga volcano caused the growth of phytoplankton in the ocean. An article about this is published in Geophysical Research Letters.

On January 15, 2022, the Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Haapai volcano, located in the country of Tonga (Polynesia), erupted.

The ash column reached the stratosphere and rose to a height of 58 kilometers. In addition, the eruption caused a tsunami that killed five people.

Now scientists at Oregon State University have been investigating the effects of this eruption on the flora and fauna of the surrounding ocean.

It turned out that two days after the eruption, the growth of phytoplankton (algae) was recorded from satellites in an area of ​​60 thousand square kilometers.

During the study, experts analyzed satellite images in the form of standard photographs, as well as in the red and infrared spectrum.

They concluded that volcanic ash deposits were the main source of nutrients responsible for the growth of phytoplankton.

Phytoplankton consumes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, causing the planet to warm.

Studying the dynamics of volcanic eruptions and the subsequent feeding of these microorganisms can be useful for predicting the consequences of volcanic emissions, as well as for developing technologies for reducing carbon dioxide.


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