Metis Shoal

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  • Country
  • Subregion Name
  • Primary Volcano Type
  • Last Known Eruption
  • 19.18°S
  • 174.87°W

  • 43 m
    141 ft

  • 243070
  • Latitude
  • Longitude

  • Summit
    Elevation

  • Volcano
    Number

18 October-24 October 2006

Further information obtained regarding the floating pumice rafts between Tonga and Fiji indicated that the source was Metis Shoal. Mariners in the region were being informed of this activity in early September via "Rag of the Air" radio broadcasts from Fiji. The earliest report found to this point comes from a boat with callsign KB1LSY, noting that "thick pumice" slowed them for 30 minutes during the early morning hours of 28 August as they were approaching the northern islands of the Lau Group in Fiji, about 500 km NW of Metis Shoal. By 15 October yachts sailing between Tonga and Fiji reported no remaining pumice.

Sources: Encore II Crew, KB1LSY Crew, Bob McDavitt's Pacific Weathergrams



 Available Weekly Reports


2006: October


18 October-24 October 2006

Further information obtained regarding the floating pumice rafts between Tonga and Fiji indicated that the source was Metis Shoal. Mariners in the region were being informed of this activity in early September via "Rag of the Air" radio broadcasts from Fiji. The earliest report found to this point comes from a boat with callsign KB1LSY, noting that "thick pumice" slowed them for 30 minutes during the early morning hours of 28 August as they were approaching the northern islands of the Lau Group in Fiji, about 500 km NW of Metis Shoal. By 15 October yachts sailing between Tonga and Fiji reported no remaining pumice.

Sources: Encore II Crew, KB1LSY Crew, Bob McDavitt's Pacific Weathergrams


Summary of eruption dates and Volcanic Explosivity Indices (VEI).

Start Date Stop Date Eruption Certainty VEI Evidence Activity Area or Unit
1995 Jun 6 1995 Jun 23 ± 2 days Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1991 Jun 24 (in or before) Unknown Confirmed 0 Historical Observations
1979 May 10 (in or before) 1979 Jul 21 (in or after) Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1967 Dec 11 (in or before) 1968 Jan 4 ± 4 days Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
[ 1894 (in or before) ] [ Unknown ] Uncertain 2  
1886 Unknown Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1878 Apr (in or before) Unknown Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1858 Unknown Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
[ 1852 ] [ Unknown ] Uncertain 0  
1851 Unknown Confirmed 0 Historical Observations
1781 (in or before) Unknown Confirmed 2 Historical Observations

The following references are the sources used for data regarding this volcano. References are linked directly to our volcano data file. Discussion of another volcano or eruption (sometimes far from the one that is the subject of the manuscript) may produce a citation that is not at all apparent from the title. Additional discussion of data sources can be found under Volcano Data Criteria.

Baker S W, 1885. A description of the new volcano in the Friendly Islands, near Tongatabu. Trans New Zeal Inst, 18: 41-46.

Ewart A, Bryan W B, Gill J B, 1973. Mineralogy and geochemistry of the younger volcanic islands of Tonga, southwest Pacific. J Petr, 14: 429-465.

Melson W G, Jarosewich E, Lundquist C A, 1970. Volcanic eruption at Metis Shoal, Tonga, 1967-1968: description and petrology. Smithsonian Contr Earth Sci, 4: 1-18.

Phillips C, 1898. The volcanoes of the Pacific. Trans New Zeal Inst, 31: 510-551.

Richard J J, 1962. Kermadec, Tonga and Samoa. Catalog of Active Volcanoes of the World and Solfatara Fields, Rome: IAVCEI, 13: 1-38.

Scott B, 1995. . (pers. comm.).

Smithsonian Institution-GVN, 1990-. [Monthly event reports]. Bull Global Volc Network, v 15-33.

Taylor P, 2003. Unreported submarine activity at Metis Shoal, June 1991 and the risk from future activity. Aust Volc Invest Occ Rpt, 03/05: 1-9.

Taylor P W, Ewart A, 1997. The Tofua Volcanic Arc, Tonga, SW Pacific: a review of historic volcanic activity. Aust Volc Invest Occ Rpt, 97/01: 1-58.

Thomson J A, 1926. Volcanoes of the New Zealand-Tonga volcanic zone--a record of eruptions. New Zeal J Sci Tech, B8: 354-371.

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 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 and a height of 43 m following growth of a lava dome above the surface.