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Who settled the Pacific? – In the News

Sarah-Jane O'Connor posted in on October 4th, 2016.

New research published today in Nature suggests the first people to settle in the Pacific were from Asian farming groups rather than the Papuan ancestry that had been suspected. The international team of researchers sequenced ancient DNA from 3000-year-old skeletons from Vanuatu and Tonga and found they had little or no Papuan ancestry. Rather, the […]

Tongan volcano eruption puts flights on hold

Laura Goodall posted in on January 13th, 2015.

All international flights to the small island nation of Tonga have been cancelled after the underwater Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano sent up a huge plume of ash this week. GNS Science volcanologist Brad Scott tells TVNZ that volcanic activity has been recorded for several weeks in a stretch of ocean and islands north of the capital, Nuku’alofa, and […]

Rare double earthquake behind tsunami warning confusion

Dacia Herbulock posted in on August 19th, 2010.

New research into the earthquake responsible for the deadly 2009 tsunami in Samoa and Tonga, has shown that it was caused by not one, but two near-simultaneous massive undersea earthquakes. The surprise finding helps explain why the resulting tsunami did not fit predictions — i.e. the waves were larger than expected in some areas, while […]

Media coverage: Double earthquake caused Pacific tsunami

Peter Griffin posted in on August 19th, 2010.

The tsunami which devasted Tonga and Samoa in September of last year was caused by two almost simultaneous earthquakes, shows research led by GNS scientists. Only one of the earthquakes was originally detected, but it is now thought that one of the earthquakes triggered the other – the interaction of the two explains the characteristics […]

Tonga’s big blast and other spectacular eruptions

Peter Griffin posted in on March 23rd, 2009.

The volcanic eruption on the small islet of Hunga Ha’apai, near Tonga’s capital Nuku’alofa on Thursday has devastated birdlife and vegatation in the area, but reminded us of how spectacular vocanic erutions can be. Many will have been reminded of Mt Ruapehu’s sizeable eruption in 1995 [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w8Owqm4KHiM[/youtube] Wired has collected a series of photos of […]

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