Niuafo'ou

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  • Country
  • Subregion Name
  • Primary Volcano Type
  • Last Known Eruption
  • 15.6°S
  • 175.63°W

  • 260 m
    853 ft

  • 243110
  • Latitude
  • Longitude

  • Summit
    Elevation

  • Volcano
    Number

There are no activity reports for Niuafo'ou.



 Available Weekly Reports

There are no Weekly Reports available for Niuafo'ou.

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

Start Date Stop Date Eruption Certainty VEI Evidence Activity Area or Unit
1985 Mar 21 1985 Mar 22 Confirmed 0 Historical Observations NE part of caldera lake (Vai Lahi)
[ 1959 ] [ Unknown ] Uncertain    
[ 1947 Jan ] [ Unknown ] Uncertain    
1946 Sep 9 1946 Sep 17 Confirmed 2 Historical Observations North flank
1943 Sep 26 1943 Oct 16 ± 30 days Confirmed 2 Historical Observations SW flank
1935 Dec 7 1936 Feb (?) Confirmed 2 Historical Observations South flank
1929 Jul 25 1929 Jul 26 Confirmed 2 Historical Observations West flank
1912 Oct 15 ± 5 days Unknown Confirmed 2 Historical Observations West side, near Alele 'Uta village
1887 Unknown Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1886 Aug 31 1886 Sep 18 (?) Confirmed 4 Historical Observations NE side of caldera
1867 Apr 12 Unknown Confirmed 1 Historical Observations SSW flank
1853 Jun 24 1853 Jun 24 (?) Confirmed 0 Historical Observations SW caldera rim (Ahau village area)
[ 1840 ] [ Unknown ] Discredited    
1814 Unknown Confirmed 2 Historical Observations South end of caldera ?

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.

Jaggar T A, 1931b. Geology and geography of Niuafoou volcano. Volcano Lett, 318: 1-3.

Macdonald G A, 1948. Notes on Niuafo'ou. Amer J Sci, 246: 65-77.

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, 1991. The geology and petrology of Niuafo'ou Island, Tonga: subaerial volcanism in an active back-arc basin. Unpublished MSci thesis, Maquarie Univ.

Niuafo'ou ("Tin Can Island") is a low, 8-km-wide island that forms the summit of a largely submerged basaltic shield volcano. Niuafo'ou is an isolated volcanic island in the north central Lau Basin about 170 km west of the northern end of the Tofua volcanic arc. The circular island encloses a 5-km-wide caldera that is mostly filled by a lake whose bottom extends to below sea level. The inner walls of the caldera drop sharply to the caldera lake, named Big Lake (or Vai Lahi), which contains several small islands and pyroclastic cones on its NE shore. Historical eruptions, mostly from circumferential fissures on the west-to-south side of the island, have been recorded since 1814 and have often damaged villages on this small ring-shaped island. A major eruption at Niuafo'ou in 1946 forced evacuation of most of its 1200 inhabitants.