Vailulu'u

Photo of this volcano
Google Earth icon
Google Earth Placemark
  • Country
  • Subregion Name
  • Primary Volcano Type
  • Last Known Eruption
  • 14.215°S
  • 169.058°W

  • -592 m
    -1942 ft

  • 244000
  • Latitude
  • Longitude

  • Summit
    Elevation

  • Volcano
    Number

There are no activity reports for Vailulu'u.



 Available Weekly Reports

There are no Weekly Reports available for Vailulu'u.

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

Start Date Stop Date Eruption Certainty VEI Evidence Activity Area or Unit
2003 Apr ± 2 years Unknown Confirmed 0 Historical Observations West side of caldera (Nafanua)
1995 Jan 9 1995 Jan 29 Confirmed 0 Hydrophonic
1973 Jul 10 1973 Jul 10 Confirmed 0 Hydrophonic

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.

Hart S R, Staudigel H, Koppers A A P, Blusztajn J, Baker E T, Workman R, Jackson M, Hauri E, Kurz M, Sims K, Fornari D, Saal A, Lyons S, 2000. Vailulu'u undersea volcano: The New Samoa. Geochem Geophys Geosyst, 1: paper 2000GC000108.

Konter J G, Staudigel H, Hart S R, Shearer P M, 2004. Seafloor seismic monitoring of an active submarine volcano: local seismicity at Vailulu'u Seamount, Samoa. Geochem Geophys Geosyst, 5: Q06007, doi: 10.1029/2004GC000702.

Staudigel H, Hart S R, Koppers A A P, Constable C, Workman R, Kurz M, Baker E T, 2004. Hydrothermal venting at Vailulu'u Seamount: the smoking end of the Samoan chain. Geochem Geophys Geosyst, 5: Q02003, doi: 10.1029/2003GC000626.

A massive volcanic seamount, not discovered until 1975, rises 4200 m from the sea floor to a depth of 590 m about one-third of the way between Ta'u and Rose islands at the eastern end of the American Samoas. The basaltic seamount, named Vailulu'u, is considered to mark the current location of the Samoan hotspot. The summit of Vailulu'u contains a 2-km-wide, 400-m-deep oval-shaped caldera. Two principal rift zones extend east and west from the summit, parallel to the trend of the Samoan hotspot, and a third less prominent rift extends SE of the summit. The rift zones and escarpments produced by mass wasting phenomena give the seamount a star-shaped pattern. On July 10, 1973, explosions from Vailulu'u were recorded by SOFAR (hydrophone records of underwater acoustic signals). An earthquake swarm in 1995 may have been related to an eruption from the seamount. Turbid water above the summit shows evidence of ongoing hydrothermal plume activity.