|Date:||Friday 29 Jul, 10am - 11am|
|Location:||AUT City Campus
WG Building, WG126
Hunga volcano in Tonga erupted spectacularly on 15 January 2022 putting it on the world stage. Prior to this, a group of researchers from the University of Auckland had visited and camped on the island. This was part of two decades of work in and around the SW Pacific islands to study the history and interaction of volcanoes and people. Through the example of the Tongan eruption of January 2022 and other cases throughout the islands and New Zealand, I will describe the adventures of a volcanologist in "paradise". In particular I will demonstrate how building local knowledge and understanding of natural phenomena such as eruptions can save lives. The Tongan eruption was one of the biggest in the last 140 years around the world, yet quick thinking and excellent community knowledge of coastal hazards meant that the Tongan people very rapidly evacuated and saved themselves, avoiding a tragic catastrophe. Introducing a team of young Earth Science and Environmental Science graduates based in Tonga, I will show how we apply our knowledge of Earth systems to reveal incredible volcano-tsunami stories of the last Century.