Home Reef

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  • Country
  • Subregion Name
  • Primary Volcano Type
  • Last Known Eruption
  • 18.992°S
  • 174.775°W

  • -10 m
    -33 ft

  • 243080
  • Latitude
  • Longitude

  • Summit
    Elevation

  • Volcano
    Number

16 May-22 May 2007

Pumice from the Home Reef eruption that began early-to-mid August 2006 reached the eastern Australian coast in March 2007. A substantial stranding of the pumice in mid-April extended for more than 1,300 km along the Queensland and northern New South Wales coast. Pumice clasts ranged in size from 1-4 cm in diameter, with the largest clasts up to 17 cm in diameter. A visit to the area in February 2007 revealed a pumice mound barely visible over the waves.

Source: Scott Bryan, School of Earth Sciences and Geography, Kingston University



 Available Weekly Reports


2007: May
2006: September | November | December


16 May-22 May 2007

Pumice from the Home Reef eruption that began early-to-mid August 2006 reached the eastern Australian coast in March 2007. A substantial stranding of the pumice in mid-April extended for more than 1,300 km along the Queensland and northern New South Wales coast. Pumice clasts ranged in size from 1-4 cm in diameter, with the largest clasts up to 17 cm in diameter. A visit to the area in February 2007 revealed a pumice mound barely visible over the waves.

Source: Scott Bryan, School of Earth Sciences and Geography, Kingston University


13 December-19 December 2006

Observers from a Royal New Zealand Airforce aircraft reported venting and a sulphur smell from Home Reef on 8 December. The island was about 450 m in diameter, circular in shape, and rose to a height of 73 m (240 ft) a.s.l. The water around the island was cloudy with sediment.

Source: New Zealand GeoNet Project


8 November-14 November 2006

Pumice rafts originally reported to have been from Metis Shoal are now confirmed to have originated from an island-building eruption of the submarine Home Reef volcano. On 12 August, possibly four days after the beginning of the eruption, a sailor spotted the new island after encountering pumice rafts the previous day. The encounter was written in an on-line journal that described the island as four-peaked. A central crater produced steam plumes and occasional bursts of tephra.

Data from the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) on NASA's Aura satellite showed that sulfur dioxide emissions from the Home Reef area began on 8 August, peaked during 8-9 August, and ceased on 15 August. Based on ASTER satellite imagery from 4 October, the island was an estimated 1 km long with an area of 0.23 square km. The temperature of a small lake on the island was 64.7°C. The island was 0.15 square km, based on ASTER imagery from 12 October.

Sources: Fredrik Fransson, Simon Carn, Alain Bernard


20 September-26 September 2006

Reports have been received of large pumice rafts in the Fiji Islands. On 16 September observers aboard the M/V National Geographic Endeavour noted almost continuous rows of pumice that day as they traveled about 90 km east-southeast to Vatoa Island, where the pumice was present on the beaches. Large rafts of pumice were also passing through the northern Lau Group around Naitauba Island on 19 September. The source of the pumice is unknown at this time. [Later determined to be from Home Reef.]

Sources: David Cothran, M/V National Geographic Endeavour, David Forsythe, Naitauba Island, Fiji


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

Start Date Stop Date Eruption Certainty VEI Evidence Activity Area or Unit
2006 Aug 7 2006 Aug 16 (?) Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1984 Mar 1 1984 Mar 5 Confirmed 3 Historical Observations
[ 1857 ] [ Unknown ] Uncertain 2  
1852 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.

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

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.

Vaughan R G, Abrams M J, Hook S J, Pieri D C, 2007. Satellite observations of new volcanic island in Tonga. Eos, Trans Amer Geophys Union, 88: 37,41.

Home Reef, a submarine volcano midway between Metis Shoal and Late Island in the central Tonga islands, was first reported active in the mid-19th century, when an ephemeral island formed. An eruption in 1984 produced a 12-km-high eruption plume, copious amounts of floating pumice, and an ephemeral island 500 x 1500 m wide, with cliffs 30-50 m high that enclosed a water-filled crater. Another island-forming eruption in 2006 produced widespread dacitic pumice rafts that reached as far as Australia.