Traitor's Head

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  • Country
  • Volcanic Region
  • Primary Volcano Type
  • Last Known Eruption
  • 18.75°S
  • 169.23°E

  • 837 m
    2745 ft

  • 257090
  • Latitude
  • Longitude

  • Summit
    Elevation

  • Volcano
    Number

The Global Volcanism Program has no activity reports for Traitor's Head.

The Global Volcanism Program has no Weekly Reports available for Traitor's Head.

The Global Volcanism Program has no Bulletin Reports available for Traitor's Head.

The Traitor's Head Peninsula north of Cook Bay on eastern Erromango Island is comprised of three Holocene volcanic cones that are the youngest on the 50-km-long island. Mounts Rantop, Nagat, and Oulenou are small basaltic-to-andesitic stratovolcanoes with well-preserved morphologies. Mount Rantop is the largest, rising to 837 m, and 421-m-high Mount Oulenou is the most youthful looking, with an unbreached crater. A low plateau to the NW is underlain by ash deposits distributed by southeasterly trade winds. The volcanoes initially formed an offshore island that was joined to the mainland by uplift after volcanism ceased. A submarine vent offshore between the tip of the peninsula and Goat Island, 5 km to the NE, erupted in 1881, the only historical activity of the Erromango volcanoes.

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

Start Date Stop Date Eruption Certainty VEI Evidence Activity Area or Unit
[ 1959 ] [ Unknown ] Uncertain     Four submarine vents N of Erromango
1881 Unknown Confirmed 0 Historical Observations NE flank submarine vent

This compilation of synonyms and subsidiary features may not be comprehensive. Features are organized into four major categories: Cones, Craters, Domes, and Thermal Features. Synonyms of features appear indented below the primary name. In some cases additional feature type, elevation, or location details are provided.


Cones

Feature Name Feature Type Elevation Latitude Longitude
Nagat Cone 774 m 18° 45' 0" S 169° 15' 0" E
Oulenou Cone 421 m 18° 46' 0" S 169° 13' 0" E
Rantop, Mount Cone 837 m 18° 46' 0" S 169° 14' 0" E
The rectangular peninsula at the top of this Space Shuttle image of Erromango Island with north approximately to the left is the Traitor's Head Peninsula. It lies north of Cook Bay, named for Captain Cook, who actually landed at Polenia Bay on the other side of the peninsula. Three Holocene volcanic cones at Traitor's Head are the youngest on the 50-km-long island. The volcanoes initially formed an offshore island that was later joined to the mainland by uplift. The only historical activity at Erromango was a submarine vent that erupted in 1881.

NASA Space Shuttle image STS68-220-4, 1994 (http://eol.jsc.nasa.gov/).

The following references have all been used during the compilation of data for this volcano, it is not a comprehensive bibliography. 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.

Colley H, Ash R P, 1971. The geology of Erromango. New Hebrides Condominium Geol Surv Reg Rpt, 112 p.

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

Katsui Y (ed), 1971. List of the World Active Volcanoes. Volc Soc Japan draft ms, (limited circulation), 160 p.

Marcelot G, Maury R C, Lefevre C, 1983. Mineralogy of Erromango lavas (New Hebrides): evidence of an early stage of fractionation in island arc basalts. Lithos, 16: 135-151.

New Hebrides Geological Survey, 1974. Geology of Erromango. New Hebrides Geol Surv, 1:100,000 geol map sheet 10.

Volcano Types

Stratovolcano
Pyroclastic cone(s)

Tectonic Setting

Subduction zone
Intermediate crust (15-25 km)

Rock Types

Major
Basalt / Picro-Basalt
Andesite / Basaltic Andesite

Population

Within 5 km
Within 10 km
Within 30 km
Within 100 km
207
380
7,007
30,651

Affiliated Databases

Large Eruptions of Traitor's Head Information about large Quaternary eruptions (VEI >= 4) is cataloged in the Large Magnitude Explosive Volcanic Eruptions (LaMEVE) database of the Volcano Global Risk Identification and Analysis Project (VOGRIPA).
WOVOdat WOVOdat is a database of volcanic unrest; instrumentally and visually recorded changes in seismicity, ground deformation, gas emission, and other parameters from their normal baselines. It is sponsored by the World Organization of Volcano Observatories (WOVO) and presently hosted at the Earth Observatory of Singapore.
EarthChem EarthChem develops and maintains databases, software, and services that support the preservation, discovery, access and analysis of geochemical data, and facilitate their integration with the broad array of other available earth science parameters. EarthChem is operated by a joint team of disciplinary scientists, data scientists, data managers and information technology developers who are part of the NSF-funded data facility Integrated Earth Data Applications (IEDA). IEDA is a collaborative effort of EarthChem and the Marine Geoscience Data System (MGDS).
Smithsonian Collections Search the Smithsonian's NMNH Department of Mineral Sciences collections database. Go to the "Search Rocks and Ores" tab and use the Volcano Name drop-down to find samples.