·

Submarine eruption at Lateiki (Metis Shoal), Tonga

submarine-eruption-at-lateiki-metis-shoal-tonga

The Aviation Color Code for Lateiki volcano, previously known as Matis Shoal, was raised to Orange at 21:20 UTC on October 14, 2019, after several observations confirmed eruption in progress.

Real Tonga pilots flying between Tongatapu and Vava'u observed the intermittent plumes rising to 4.6  -5.2 km (15 000 – 17 000 feet) above sea level and drifting N on October 14. Ash in the plumes was not identifiable, according to the Wellington Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC).

New Zealand's GeoNet and the Wellington VAAC, a department of NZ Met Service say there is currently no risk to flights in the area. 

Eruption at Lateiki (Metis Shoal) as seen by NASA Terra/MODIS on October 16, 2019

 

"There's no volcanic ash, just steam, and smoke," Met Service meteorologist Tamara Vuksa said. "We only warn airmen about ash, so we've put out a notice to inform people, but there's no need to issue flight warnings."

Image credit: Tonga Meteorological Service

Lateiki (Metis Shoal) as seen by ESA/Sentinel-2 on October 15, 2019

The volcano is likely the source of a massive amount of floating pumice detected in August 2019, suggesting the eruption is at least in its third month.

Pumice and discolored sea as observed by NASA Terra/MODIS on August 10, 2019

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by rjmackster (@rjmackster) on

The last confirmed eruption of this volcano (VEI 2) started on June 6, 1995, and ended on June 23 (± 2 days). 

Geological summary

Metis Shoal, a submarine volcano midway between the islands of Kao and Late, has produced a series of ephemeral islands since the first confirmed activity in the mid-19th century.

An island, perhaps not in eruption, was reported in 1781 and subsequently was eroded away.

During periods of inactivity following 20th century eruptions, waves have been observed to break on rocky reefs or sandy banks with depths of 10 m (33 feet) or less. Dacitic tuff cones formed during the first 20th century eruptions in 1967 and 1979 were soon eroded beneath the sea surface.

An eruption in 1995 produced an island with a diameter of 280 m (920 feet) and a height of 43 m (140 feet) following growth of a lava dome above the surface.

Featured image: Lateiki (Metis Shoal) as seen by ESA/Sentinel-2 on October 15, 2019

If you value what we do here, create your ad-free account and support our journalism.

Share:

Related articles



Your support makes a difference

Dear valued reader,

We hope that our website has been a valuable resource for you.

The reality is that it takes a lot of time, effort, and resources to maintain and grow this website. We rely on the support of readers like you to keep providing high-quality content.

If you have found our website to be helpful, please consider making a contribution to help us continue to bring you the information you need. Your support means the world to us and helps us to keep doing what we love.

Support us by choosing your support level – Silver, Gold or Platinum. Other support options include Patreon pledges and sending us a one-off payment using PayPal.

Thank you for your consideration. Your support is greatly appreciated.

Sincerely,
Teo Blašković

$5 /month

  • Ad-free account
  • Clean user interface and fast browsing
  • Direct communication with us via chat and email
  • Suggest new features, content and applications
  • Early access to new apps and features

$50 /year

$10 /month

  • Ad-free account
  • Clean user interface and fast browsing
  • Direct communication with us via chat and email
  • Suggest new features, content and applications
  • Early access to new apps and features

$100 /year

$25 /month

  • Ad-free account
  • Clean user interface and fast browsing
  • Direct communication with us via chat and email
  • Suggest new features, content and applications
  • Early access to new apps and features

$200 /year

You can also support us on Patreon

support us on patreon

or by sending us a one-off payment using PayPal:


Commenting rules and guidelines

We value the thoughts and opinions of our readers and welcome healthy discussions on our website. In order to maintain a respectful and positive community, we ask that all commenters follow these rules:

  • Treat others with kindness and respect.
  • Stay on topic and contribute to the conversation in a meaningful way.
  • Do not use abusive or hateful language.
  • Do not spam or promote unrelated products or services.
  • Do not post any personal information or content that is illegal, obscene, or otherwise inappropriate.

We reserve the right to remove any comments that violate these rules. By commenting on our website, you agree to abide by these guidelines. Thank you for helping to create a positive and welcoming environment for all.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *