Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2024-663
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2024-663
07 Mar 2024
 | 07 Mar 2024

Volcano Tsunamis and their effects on moored vessels safety: The 2022 Tonga event

Sergio Padilla, Íñigo Aniel-Quiroga, Rachid Omira, Mauricio González, Jihwan Kim, and Maria A. Baptista

Abstract. The violent explosion of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano on January 15, 2022, was the origin of an atmospheric wave and a volcano-meteorological tsunami (VMT), both of which were recorded worldwide. The Tonga tsunami event caused resonance effects, leading to wave amplification in some far-field coastal areas like La Pampilla port in Callao, Peru, 10,000 km away from the volcano, where the rupture of the Vessel mooring lines occurred 15 hours after the eruption, resulting the spill of over 11,000 barrels of crude oil. This study aims to better understand the coastal effects of the Tonga tsunami, focusing on mooring loads in marine port environments. We examine how the VMT affected the safety of vessel moorings, hypothesising that atmosphere-induced acoustic ocean waves exerted hydrodynamic loading that endangered ships in port areas. A tsunami propagation obtained with a validated Boussinesq model at the local scale in Callao Bay provides the input to the mooring system model applied to a vessel with similar characteristics to the one docked at La Pampilla Port on the day of the Tonga event. This allows to study the effect of the VMT on overstressing and the potential mooring breakage. The results suggest that the Tonga tsunami event could be responsible for the movement and loss of positioning of the vessel. Furthermore, atmospheric waves significantly increased mooring stresses, particularly on the starboard quarter moorings. This event showed the need to prepare Tsunami Early Warning Systems and port authorities for detecting and managing VMTs induced by atmospheric acoustic waves. The work provides new insights into the far-field effects of the Tonga 2022 tsunami and discusses the lessons learned from such an uncommon event.

Publisher's note: Copernicus Publications remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims made in the text, published maps, institutional affiliations, or any other geographical representation in this preprint. The responsibility to include appropriate place names lies with the authors.
Sergio Padilla, Íñigo Aniel-Quiroga, Rachid Omira, Mauricio González, Jihwan Kim, and Maria A. Baptista

Status: closed

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2024-663', Anonymous Referee #1, 11 Mar 2024
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Sergio Padilla Álvarez, 18 Mar 2024
  • RC2: 'Comment on egusphere-2024-663', Anonymous Referee #2, 02 Apr 2024
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Sergio Padilla Álvarez, 02 Apr 2024

Status: closed

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2024-663', Anonymous Referee #1, 11 Mar 2024
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Sergio Padilla Álvarez, 18 Mar 2024
  • RC2: 'Comment on egusphere-2024-663', Anonymous Referee #2, 02 Apr 2024
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Sergio Padilla Álvarez, 02 Apr 2024
Sergio Padilla, Íñigo Aniel-Quiroga, Rachid Omira, Mauricio González, Jihwan Kim, and Maria A. Baptista
Sergio Padilla, Íñigo Aniel-Quiroga, Rachid Omira, Mauricio González, Jihwan Kim, and Maria A. Baptista

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The Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano eruption on January 15, 2022, caused a volcano-meteorological tsunami (VMT) that was detected globally. Over 10,000 kilometres from the eruption site, the moorings of a ship in Callao, Peru, failed, releasing more than 11,000 barrels of crude oil 15 hours post-eruption. The authors explore whether the Tonga 22 event led to the mooring failure. They analysed data from tide gauges, DART buoys, and barometers in the Southern Pacific Ocean. The maximum energy of the spectra showed a 120-minute wave period off the coast of Peru, coinciding with the accident's timing. Using a Boussinesq model, which simulates the movement and impact of waves in water, the authors examined the VMT's wave propagation to the Peruvian port and assessed the impact on the mooring system. The results indicated that the 120-minute wave significantly increased mooring stresses, surpassing the Minimum Break Load (MBL). The authors conclude that the VMT's long wave period caused mooring line overstresses, leading to port accidents. This event highlights the importance of Tsunami Early Warning Systems and port authority preparedness for VMTs induced by atmospheric acoustic waves, offering new insights into the Tonga 2022 tsunami's extensive impacts.
Short summary
The eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano in January 2022 triggered a global phenomenon, including an atmospheric wave and a volcano-meteorological tsunami (VMT). The tsunami, reaching as far as Callao, Peru, 10,000 km away, caused significant coastal impacts. A study delves into understanding these effects, particularly on vessel moorings safety. The findings underscore the importance of enhancing TWS and preparing port authorities for managing such rare events.