Teahitia

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  • Country
  • Volcanic Region
  • Primary Volcano Type
  • Last Known Eruption
  • 17.57°S
  • 148.85°W

  • -1400 m
    -4592 ft

  • 333010
  • Latitude
  • Longitude

  • Summit
    Elevation

  • Volcano
    Number

The Global Volcanism Program has no activity reports for Teahitia.

The Global Volcanism Program has no Weekly Reports available for Teahitia.

Index of Monthly Reports

Reports are organized chronologically and indexed below by Month/Year (Publication Volume:Number), and include a one-line summary. Click on the index link or scroll down to read the reports.

04/1982 (SEAN 07:04) Seismicity suggests first historical eruption

08/1983 (SEAN 08:08) Shallow earthquakes and high-frequency tremor

04/1984 (SEAN 09:04) Seismic swarms indicate two submarine eruptions

01/1985 (SEAN 10:01) Earthquake swarm and probable submarine eruption


Contents of Monthly Reports

All information contained in these reports is preliminary and subject to change.

04/1982 (SEAN 07:04) Seismicity suggests first historical eruption

On 14 March, the RSP began to record earthquakes in the vicinity of a seamount, with a summit at about 2 km below sea level, located about 3 km W of Rocard submarine volcano (17.640°S, 148.60°W) and 40 km NE of Tahiti's Taiarapu Peninsula. The increasing activity consisted only of low-magnitude earthquakes until 25 March, when the five Tahiti-Moorea seismic stations began to detect volcanic tremor of 5-10 Hz frequency (figure 1). The Laboratoire de Géophysique attributed the tremor to magma movement and submarine eruptions. Periods of tremor, of variable duration but nearly continuous on some days, accompanied the increasingly numerous discrete earthquakes. Tremor began to decline after 9 April and none has been recorded since the 18th. As of 23 April, weak earthquakes and episodic 1.5-2 Hz seismic noise continued. More than 10,000 individual earthquakes (ML > 0.9) were recorded during the swarm, the strongest of which had magnitudes of 3.5-4 (ML) and were felt on Tahiti.

Figure 1. Seismicity near Teahitia during 17 March-30 April 1982. Number of recorded earthquakes at 12-hour intervals (solid line), duration of high-frequency tremor in minutes (bars), and cumulative seismic energy release (dashed line, log scale). Courtesy of J. Talandier.

No volcanic activity had previously been known at the seamount, for which the name Teahitia has been proposed. The activity was similar to that of Mehetia (90 km ESE), March-December 1981.

Information Contact: J.M. Talandier, Lab. de Géophysique, Tahiti.

08/1983 (SEAN 08:08) Shallow earthquakes and high-frequency tremor

Between 11 and 20 July, the RSP recorded 3,000-4,000 shallow earthquakes at Teahitia, accompanied by high-frequency volcanic tremor (figure 2).

Figure 2. Seismicity near Teahitia during 10 July-24 August 1983. Number of recorded earthquakes at 12-hour intervals (solid line), duration of high-frequency tremor in minutes (bars), and cumulative seismic energy release (dashed line, log scale). Courtesy of J. Talandier.

Information Contact: J.M. Talandier, Lab. de Géophysique, Tahiti.

04/1984 (SEAN 09:04) Seismic swarms indicate two submarine eruptions

From August 1983 to March 1984, the RSP recorded numerous sequences of low-frequency volcanic tremor and two seismic swarms associated with submarine eruptions at Teahitia. On 20-21 December, 300 very small earthquakes were recorded. From 3 March-15 April 1984, approximately 9,000 earthquakes were recorded, accompanied by low- and high-frequency spasmodic and harmonic tremor (figure 3).

Figure 3. Seismicity near Teahitia during 3 March-17 April 1984. Number of recorded earthquakes at 12-hour intervals (solid line), duration of high-frequency tremor in minutes (bars), and cumulative seismic energy release (dashed line, log scale). Courtesy of J. Talandier.

Information Contact: J.M. Talandier, Lab. de Géophysique, Tahiti.

01/1985 (SEAN 10:01) Earthquake swarm and probable submarine eruption

Between 11 and 22 January, RSP stations on Tahiti recorded about 10,000 seismic events near Teahitia (figure 4). From 15-19 January, about 50 seismic events stronger than ML 3.5 were recorded. A number of those were felt by some of the inhabitants of Tahiti, 40 km SW, and three, of magnitudes 4.0, 4.2, and 4.4, were felt by the entire population. Very intense, high-frequency, long-duration volcanic tremors were recorded 19 January. Talandier noted that the intensity and duration of the tremors pointed to magmatic transfer. He also stated that this swarm certainly led to a submarine eruption, as did previous swarms. There were more events and greater seismic energy release in the January swarm than in previous swarms in April-May 1982, July and December 1983, and April-May 1984. Only the 1982 swarm had stronger deep activity.

Figure 4. Seismicity near Teahitia during 5 January-23 February 1985. Number of recorded earthquakes at 12-hour intervals (solid line), duration of high-frequency tremor in minutes (bars), and cumulative seismic energy release (dashed line, log scale). Courtesy of J. Talandier.

Information Contact: J.M. Talandier, Lab. de Géophysique, Tahiti.

Teahitia is a submarine volcano in the Society Islands, whose summit reaches to within 1400 m of the surface, 40 km NE of the SE tip of Tahiti Island. Several seismic swarms in the 1980s included volcanic tremor that may have resulted from submarine eruptions (Talandier and Opal, 1984). Rocks dredged from the volcano in 1986 "exploded" when they reached the surface, suggesting recent lava extrusion that had not yet had time to equilabrate with pressure and temperature conditions on the submerged flanks of the edifice. Two hydrothermal fields each about 1km by 400 m in size that emitted low-temperature hydrothermal venting were discovered on the flanks of the volcano during submersible dives in 1986 and 1989.

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

Start Date Stop Date Eruption Certainty VEI Evidence Activity Area or Unit
1985 Jan 10 1985 Jan 25 Confirmed 0 Hydrophonic
1983 Dec 18 1984 Jul 14 Confirmed 0 Hydrophonic
1983 Jul 12 1983 Jul 26 Confirmed 0 Hydrophonic
1982 Mar 16 1982 May 19 Confirmed 0 Hydrophonic

The Global Volcanism Program has no synonyms or subfeatures listed for Teahitia.

The Global Volcanism Program has no photographs available for Teahitia.

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.

Cheng Q C, Macdougall J D, Lugmair G W, 1993. Geochemical studies of Tahiti, Teahitia and Mehetia, Society Island Chain. J Volc Geotherm Res, 55: 155-184.

Hekinian R, Bideau D, Stoffers P, Cheminee J L, Muhe R, Puteanus D, Binard N, 1991. Submarine intraplate volcanism in the South Pacific: geological setting and petrology of the Society and Austral regions. J Geophys Res, 96: 2109-2138.

Smithsonian Institution-SEAN, 1975-89. [Monthly event reports]. Bull Scientific Event Alert Network (SEAN), v 1-14.

Talandier J, Okal E A, 1984a. The volcanoseismic swarms of 1981-1983 in the Tahiti-Mehetia area, French Polynesia. J Geophys Res, 89: 11,216-11,234.

Volcano Types

Submarine

Tectonic Setting

Intraplate
Oceanic crust (< 15 km)

Rock Types

Major
Trachybasalt / Tephrite Basanite
Basalt / Picro-Basalt

Population

Within 5 km
Within 10 km
Within 30 km
Within 100 km
0
0
0
203,248

Affiliated Databases

Large Eruptions of Teahitia 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.