News & activity updates from Monovai submarine volcano

Submarine eruption near Tonga: Pumice raft observed on 16 Nov, but origin volcano remains unknown

Mon, 28 Nov 2016, 17:50
17:50 PM | BY: T
Location of the observed pumice rafts (image: GeoNet)
Location of the observed pumice rafts (image: GeoNet)
It is still unclear which volcano produced the pumice raft observed west of Minerva Reef southwest of Tonga (Pacific Ocean) by a New Zealand Royal Air Force aircraft on 16 November.
The pumice rafts were long ribbons, 10 km long and tens to hundreds of meters wide according to satellite images, likely as the combined result of sea waves, winds and currents.The area is between several volcanic arcs: Vanuatu to the north, Tonga arc to the east, and the Kermadec arc to the southeast. New Zealand geologists do not think that it is likely to come from Monowai submarine volcano, but rather think it might be one of the volcanoes in Tonga. However, the origin of the pumices remains a riddle and illustrates how little we know about submarine eruptions.

Previous news

Fri, 14 Nov 2014, 07:31
Pumice raft observed on 31 Oct near Monovai seamount (RNZAF via GeoNet)
New Zealand scientists concluded that most likely 3 underwater eruptions occurred during this October at the shallow submarine volcano, one of the most active ones in the Tonga-Kermadec arc. ... Read all
Sat, 11 Aug 2012, 06:38
A satellite image from 10 Aug showing the pumice raft off Raoul Island in the Kermadec Islands (Image: Aqua/MODIS 2012/223 08/10/2012 01:30 UTC (NASA), annotations: Eric Klemetti / Eruptions Blog)
A submarine eruption has taken place a few days ago in the Kermandec Islands. The eruption was not directly observed, but a new large pumice raft has been spotted by NZ navy and others. The pumice is drifting 85 nautical miles south-west of Raoul Island on Thursday night (9 Aug). ... Read all
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