Kavachi

Photo of this volcano
Google Earth icon
Google Earth Placemark
  • Country
  • Subregion Name
  • Primary Volcano Type
  • Last Known Eruption
  • 9.02°S
  • 157.95°E

  • -20 m
    -66 ft

  • 255060
  • Latitude
  • Longitude

  • Summit
    Elevation

  • Volcano
    Number

29 January-4 February 2014

According to NASA's Earth Observatory, a satellite image acquired on 29 January showed a plume of discolored water E of Kavachi, likely from lava fragments and dissolved gases. A bright area above the submerged peak suggested churning water. There was no sign that the volcano had breached the sea surface.

Source: NASA Earth Observatory



 Available Weekly Reports


2014: January
2004: March
2003: November
2002: January | December
2001: September | November


29 January-4 February 2014

According to NASA's Earth Observatory, a satellite image acquired on 29 January showed a plume of discolored water E of Kavachi, likely from lava fragments and dissolved gases. A bright area above the submerged peak suggested churning water. There was no sign that the volcano had breached the sea surface.

Source: NASA Earth Observatory


24 March-30 March 2004

Based on a report by an observer from The Wilderness Lodge, a news article indicated that Kavachi recently began to erupt after a long quiet period.

Source: People First Network


19 November-25 November 2003

An observer from The Wilderness Lodge reported that a 15-m-high island formed at Kavachi during an eruptive cycle 3 months prior to a visit on 16 November. By 16 November the summit had reduced to ~32 m below sea level. No evidence of volcanic activity was observed during the 3 previous months, which is the first time this has occurred in 4 years of observation.

Source: The Wilderness Lodge


4 December-10 December 2002

According to an observer at the Kavachi Wilderness Lodge, during October to November the top of Kavachi rose above sea surface, ultimately reaching 10 m a.s.l. The island that was produced was subsequently eroded by late-season southeasterly winds and swells.

Source: The Wilderness Lodge


30 January-5 February 2002

During visits to Kavachi in January, occasional explosive eruptions were seen that produced columns of steam, ash, rock, and water up to 1 km a.s.l. Sulfur slicks, small fragments of volcanic rock, and bubbles from the release of gas were visible at the sea surface. In addition, loud sounds were heard approximately every 2-15 minutes. The volcano's summit was estimated to be 60 m below sea level.

Source: The Wilderness Lodge


16 January-22 January 2002

During 27 November-13 December explosive eruptions occurred daily at Kavachi. During the next observation period (on 13 January), volcanic debris and gas bubbles were seen upwelling from the submarine volcano. The latter activity was more vigorous than similar activity seen in December 2001, and it was accompanied by frequent loud noises.

Source: The Wilderness Lodge


21 November-27 November 2001

A visit to Kavachi on 25 November revealed sulfur, mud, and tiny pieces of volcanic rock upwelling from the submarine volcano. The pieces of volcanic rock covered the sea surface over an area more than 100 m across. No explosive eruptions were seen during a 6 hour observation period.

Source: The Wilderness Lodge


7 November-13 November 2001

As of 1 November no eruptive activity had been observed at Kavachi for about 5 weeks. Kavachi was watched from the coast of Gatokae Island, at a post about 26 km from the volcano. Low-level activity may well have occurred that was not visible from this observation post.

Source: The Wilderness Lodge


26 September-2 October 2001

Kavachi erupted daily during August through mid-September. During August ash and volcanic projectiles were observed rising 400 m above sea level and the glow from the volcano was visible from the coast of Gatokae Island, 32 km away.

Source: The Wilderness Lodge


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

Start Date Stop Date Eruption Certainty VEI Evidence Activity Area or Unit
2007 Apr 2 (?) 2007 Apr 6 (in or after) Confirmed 1 Historical Observations
2004 Mar 15 Unknown Confirmed 1 Historical Observations
1999 Nov (?) 2003 Aug Confirmed 1 Historical Observations
1999 Feb 1999 May Confirmed 1 Historical Observations
[ 1998 ] [ Unknown ] Uncertain 0  
1997 Jan 16 1997 Jan 17 (in or after) Confirmed 1 Historical Observations
1991 May 4 (in or before) 1991 Sep Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1986 Jul 5 1986 Jul 23 Confirmed 1 Historical Observations
1985 Dec 9 1986 Feb 28 ± 3 days Confirmed 1 Historical Observations
1982 Apr 7 1982 Jun 2 ± 1 days Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
[ 1981 Sep 15 ± 5 days ] [ Unknown ] Uncertain 0  
1980 Oct 7 1981 Feb 25 Confirmed 1 Historical Observations
1978 Jun 21 1978 Jul 22 ± 6 days Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1977 Jul 17 (?) 1977 Jul 22 Confirmed 1 Historical Observations
1977 Feb 22 Unknown Confirmed 1 Historical Observations
1976 Aug 24 1976 Oct 13 Confirmed 1 Historical Observations
1975 Aug Unknown Confirmed 1 Historical Observations
1974 Nov 12 1974 Dec 12 (?) Confirmed 1 Historical Observations
1972 Oct 24 Unknown Confirmed 0 Historical Observations
1969 Oct 28 1970 Feb 6 Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1966 Mar 19 1966 Mar 22 (in or after) Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1965 Dec 11 1965 Dec 13 Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1963 Dec 14 1964 Jan 31 (?) Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1962 Jan 1962 Feb Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1961 Mar 28 (in or before) Unknown Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1958 Nov 21 1958 Dec 2 (?) Confirmed 0 Historical Observations
1957 Feb 8 Unknown Confirmed 0 Historical Observations
1952 Apr 16 1953 Jan 31 (?) Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1951 Dec 1 ± 30 days Unknown Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1950 Dec 1 ± 30 days Unknown Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1942 (?) Unknown Confirmed 1 Historical Observations
1939 Apr 30 (?) 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 E T, Massoth G J, de Ronde C E J, Lupton J E, McInnes B I A, 2002. Observations and sampling of an ongoing subsurface eruption of Kavachi volcano, Solomon Islands, May 2000. Geology, 30: 975-978.

Exon N F, Johnson R W, 1986. The elusive Cook volcano and other submarine forearc volcanoes in the Solomon Islands. Aust Bur Min Resour Geol Geophys J, 10: 77-83.

Fisher N H, 1957. Melanesia. Catalog of Active Volcanoes of the World and Solfatara Fields, Rome: IAVCEI, 5: 1-105.

Grover J C, 1968. Submarine volcanoes and oceanographic observations in the New Georgia Group, 1963-64. Brit Solomon Is Geol Rec, 1963-67 Rpt, 96: 116-125.

Johnson R W, Tuni D, 1987. Kavachi, an active forearc volcano in the western Solomon Islands: reported eruptions between 1950 and 1982. In: Taylor B and Exon N F (eds) {Marine Geology, Geophysics, and Geochemistry of the Woodlark Basin, Solomon Islands}, Circum-Pacific Council Energy Min Resour Earth Sci Ser, 7: 89-112.

Okrugin V M, 1985. Information note on the results of the 7th cruise of the R/V 'Vulcanolog' in the vicinity of the Solomon Islands. Solomon Is Geol Div File Rpt, unpublished rpt.

Petterson M G, Wallace S, Tolia D, 2001. Explosive Surtseyan eruptions from Kavachi, Solomon Islands in 1961, 1970, 1976, 1991, 1998, and 1999. Unpublished manuscript, 8 p.

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

Kavachi, one of the most active submarine volcanoes in the SW Pacific, occupies an isolated position in the Solomon Islands far from major aircraft and shipping lanes. Kavachi, sometimes referred to as Rejo te Kvachi ("Kavachi's Oven"), is located south of Vangunu Island only about 30 km north of the site of subduction of the Indo-Australian plate beneath the Pacific plate. The shallow submarine basaltic-to-andesitic volcano has produced ephemeral islands up to 1 km long many times since its first recorded eruption during 1939. Residents of the nearby islands of Vanguna and Nggatokae (Gatokae) reported "fire on the water" prior to 1939, a possible reference to earlier submarine eruptions. The roughly conical volcano rises from water depths of 1.1-1.2 km on the north and greater depths to the south. Frequent shallow submarine and occasional subaerial eruptions produce phreatomagmatic explosions that eject steam, ash, and incandescent bombs above the sea surface. On a number of occasions lava flows were observed on the surface of ephemeral islands.