BackgroundThe 1.5-km-wide, steep-sided island of Mehetia, the youngest and SE-most of the Society Islands, lacks a well-developed fringing coral reef. The 435-m-high island (known as Meetia or Meketia in the Tahitian and Tuamotuan languages, respectively) is the summit of a large volcano that rises 4000 m from the sea floor. An older edifice is formed of a lava flow sequence overlain by hydromagmatic deposits and strombolian ejecta. A well-preserved Holocene crater, 150 m wide and 80 m deep, is located NW of the summit and has been the source of the youngest lava flows on the island (Binard et al., 1993). Polynesian legends mention "large fires," and the lack of vegetation on some lava flows suggests that the latest activity occurred within the last 2000 years (Talandier and Custer, 1976). Other recent activity at Tehetia originated from a submarine crater at 2500-2700 m depth on the SE flank.
Smithsonian / GVP volcano information
See also: Sentinel hub | Landsat 8