BackgroundCurtis and nearby Cheeseman Islands are the uplifted portion of a submarine volcano astride the Kermadec Ridge. The age of the small islands is considered to be Pleistocene, and rocks consist dominantly, if not entirely, of andesitic pyroclastic-flow deposits (Lloyd, 1992). Curtis Island, only 500 x 800 m in diameter and 137-m high, contains a large, fumarolically active crater whose floor is only 10 m above sea level. Reports of possible historical eruptions probably represent increased thermal activity. Geologic studies have documented a remarkable uplift of 18 m of Curtis Island during the past 200 years, with 7 m of uplift occurring between 1929 and 1964 (Doyle et al., 1979). An active submarine magmatic or solfataric vent is believed to exist near Curtis Island, but its activity cannot unequivocally be associated with Curtis volcano (Lloyd, 1992).
Smithsonian / GVP volcano information
See also: Sentinel hub | Landsat 8 | NASA FIRMS