BackgroundThe ephemeral Falcon Island in the central part of the Tonga Islands was named after the British vessel H.M.S. Falcon, which reported a shoal in 1865. Falcon Island has been the site of island-forming eruptions on at least two occasions since the 19th century. Islands up to 6 km in length were formed in eruptions beginning in 1885 and 1927; in 1933 the island had a height of more than 145 m. Passing ships often reported "smoke" issuing from the site of Falcon Island. The latest explosive eruptions were reported in 1936. By 1949 the island had eroded beneath sea level, but the summit of the volcano remains at shallow depths.
Smithsonian / GVP volcano information
See also: Sentinel hub | Landsat 8 | NASA FIRMS