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Ongoing dispersal of the 7 August 2019 pumice raft from the Tonga Arc in the Southwestern Pacific Ocean


Jutzeler, M and Marsh, R and van Sebille, E and Mittal, T and Carey, RJ and Fauria, KE and Manga, M and McPhie, J, Ongoing dispersal of the 7 August 2019 pumice raft from the Tonga Arc in the Southwestern Pacific Ocean, Geophysical Research Letters, 47, (5) Article e1701121. ISSN 1944-8007 (2020) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright Statement

An edited version of this paper was published by AGU. Copyright 2020 American Geophysical Union

DOI: doi:10.1029/2019GL086768


On the 7 August 2019, a 195 km2 raft of andesitic pumice was produced at 200 m below sea level at an unnamed submarine volcano in the Tonga Islands (Southwest Pacific Ocean). Drifting chiefly westward, the raft reached the Fiji Islands on the 19 September. Yachts that crossed the raft as early as 2 days post‐eruption provided an outstanding data set of raft characteristics and pristine samples. Further, exceptional tracking of raft dispersal by satellite images allows us to contrast virtual particle tracking methods with ocean model currents to explore the relative influence of surface currents, wind, and wave action on pumice flotsam dispersal over up to 2 years. Attenuation of ocean waves by large and compact pumice rafts appears to reduce the effect of Stokes drift. The coupling of real‐time satellite observations with oceanographic Lagrangian simulations allows near‐real time forecasting for global maritime hazard mitigation.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:eruption, pumice raft, ocean current
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Geology
Research Field:Volcanology
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the earth sciences
UTAS Author:Jutzeler, M (Dr Martin Jutzeler)
UTAS Author:Carey, RJ (Associate Professor Rebecca Carey)
UTAS Author:McPhie, J (Professor Jocelyn McPhie)
ID Code:137914
Year Published:2020
Funding Support:Australian Research Council (DE150101190)
Web of Science® Times Cited:16
Deposited By:Earth Sciences
Deposited On:2020-03-13
Last Modified:2022-08-29
Downloads:18 View Download Statistics

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