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A #volcano just erupted near #Tonga - but why was it there in the first place?

Tonga sits on top of the #TongaKermadec #subductionzone, where the #PacificPlate sinks below the #AustralianPlate.

The subducting #PacificPlate carries the culprit into the mantle: #water. 🧵1/3 Source: https://source.wust...
Some people think that volcanoes at subduction zones are due to frictional heating from the two plates rubbing against each other - NO!

In this case, melting is because of the addition of water, sort of like how adding salt can make ice melt. 2/3

Is this the only volcano in the region? Absolutely not. Volcanoes parallel the plate boundary, a string of conical mountains 2000 m high, occasionally poking above the sea. Usually quiet, but built over millions of years through thousands of eruptions. 3/3

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