Tofua volcano

caldera 515 m / 1,690 ft
Tonga Islands, -19.75°S / -175.07°W
Current status: normal or dormant (1 out of 5)
Last update: 1 Oct 2020 (currently dormant)
Aerial photo of Tofua (Tonga Ministry of Lands, Survey, and Natural Resources, 1990, published in Taylor and Ewart, 1997)
Aerial photo of Tofua (Tonga Ministry of Lands, Survey, and Natural Resources, 1990, published in Taylor and Ewart, 1997)

Tofua volcano is the subaerial part of a large frequently active stratovolcano. It forms the 8 km wide circular Tofua Island, dominated by the 5 km wide caldera containing a freshwater lake at only 30 m above sea level and surrounded by steep 300 m cliffs.
The island is know for Captain Bligh who was stranded there during the famous Bounty Mutiny 1789. The first historical eruption of Tofua was observed by Captain Cook in 1774.

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Typical eruption style: explosive
Tofua volcano eruptions: 2006-09, 2004, 1958, 1906, 1889, 1885, 1854, 1792, 1774

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Background

The easternmost cone has three craters and produced young basaltic-andesite lava flows, some of which traveled into the caldera lake. The largest and northernmost of the cones, Lofia, has a steep-sided crater that is 70 m wide and 120 m deep and has been the source of historical eruptions, first reported in the 18th century. The fumarolically active crater of Lofia has a flat floor formed by a ponded lava flow. (Smithsonian / GVP volcano information)


See also: Sentinel hub | Landsat 8
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