BackgroundHistorical eruptions have greatly modified the morphology of the McDonald Islands, located on the Kerguelen Plateau about 75 km west of Heard Island. The largest island, McDonald, is composed of a layered phonolitic tuff plateau cut by phonolitic dikes and lava domes. A possible nearby active submarine center was inferred from phonolitic pumice that washed up on Heard Island in 1992. Volcanic plumes were observed in December 1996 and January 1997 from McDonald Island. During March of 1997 the crew of a vessel that sailed near the island noted vigorous steaming from a vent at the northern side of the island along with possible pyroclastic deposits and lava flows. A satellite image taken in November 2001 showed the island to have more than doubled in area since previous reported observations in November 2000. The high point of the island group had shifted to the northern end of McDonald Island, which had merged with Flat Island.
Smithsonian / GVP volcano information
See also: Sentinel hub | Landsat 8