NASA studies on Tongan islands to help them
NUKU’ALOFA – December 13: 12.17pm (Nuku’alofa Times): The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is using information they have gathered from the formation of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai islands here in Tonga in 2015 to help them understand some features of other parts of the solar system like Mars.
A video study showing a time lapse of Hunga Tonga-Hunga Haʻapai island was published on Tuesday by NASA.
The video study shows the transformation of the volcanic Island from 2015 to 2017.
“The new study offers insight into its longevity and the erosion that shapes new islands. Understanding these processes could also provide insights into similar features in other parts of the solar system, including Mars,” NASA stated.
Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai island was formed in 2015 after volcanic activity created an island of ash that connected the neighbouring islands of Hunga Tonga and Hunga Ha’apai.
NASA scientist Jim Garvin stated that when the island was first formed, it was expected to erode back into the ocean within a few months. He said that the time lapse video would help Scientists understand why the island was able to persist.
“Volcanic islands are some of the simplest landforms to make,” he said.
“Our interest is to calculate how much the 3D landscape changes over time, particularly its volume, which has only been measured a few times at other such islands.
“It’s the first step to understand erosion rates and processes and to decipher why it has persisted longer than most people expected.”
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