Montagu Island

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  • Country
  • Subregion Name
  • Primary Volcano Type
  • Last Known Eruption
  • 58.42°S
  • 26.33°W

  • 1370 m
    4494 ft

  • 390081
  • Latitude
  • Longitude

  • Summit
    Elevation

  • Volcano
    Number

9 November-15 November 2005

A partly cloudy ASTER satellite image from 3 November appeared to indicate that large-scale effusive activity from the summit of Montagu Island (Mt. Belinda) had ceased. The image showed that the 3.5-km-long lava flow noted in previous reports (observed entering the sea in an image from 23 September 2005) had extended the shoreline on the N side of island. The new land extended approximately 500 m from the previous shoreline, and was ~400 m wide, equating to a total area of 0.2 square kilometers.

Sources: Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP) Thermal Alerts Team, British Antarctic Survey



 Available Weekly Reports


2005: October | November
2004: February | October


9 November-15 November 2005

A partly cloudy ASTER satellite image from 3 November appeared to indicate that large-scale effusive activity from the summit of Montagu Island (Mt. Belinda) had ceased. The image showed that the 3.5-km-long lava flow noted in previous reports (observed entering the sea in an image from 23 September 2005) had extended the shoreline on the N side of island. The new land extended approximately 500 m from the previous shoreline, and was ~400 m wide, equating to a total area of 0.2 square kilometers.

Sources: Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP) Thermal Alerts Team, British Antarctic Survey


12 October-18 October 2005

An ASTER satellite image from 23 September showed a 3.5-km-long lava flow extending from the summit of Montagu Island (Mt. Belinda) into the sea. This was the largest effusive event observed during the 4-year-old eruption. Based on MODVOLC alerts, the flow appeared to have started sometime between 10 and 14 September. A conspicuous 90-m-wide channel was visible ~1 km from the vent. The image also showed a steam plume at the location of the ocean entry, and an ash-rich plume extending NE from the volcano's summit.

Sources: Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP) Thermal Alerts Team, British Antarctic Survey


27 October-2 November 2004

According to NASA's Earth Observatory News website, the IKONOS satellite acquired an image of Montagu Island (Mount Belinda) on 1 October that showed a steaming vent, and dark basaltic tephra covering ice surfaces N of the lava that erupted down the volcano's N flank. A steam plume drifted N, and light colored clouds surrounded the S side of the crater.

Source: NASA Earth Observatory


11 February-17 February 2004

Satellite imagery from 7 December 2003 showed that low-level ash emission and lava effusion had persisted steadily at Montagu Island (Mount Belinda) for the past 2 years. A NE-trending, 2-km-long lava flow was emplaced on the summit ice shelf in July 2003, and ash continued to blanket the eastern side of the island. The automated MODVOLC satellite monitoring system indicated that total heat output from the volcano reached its highest intensity in October 2003.

Source: Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP) Thermal Alerts Team


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

Start Date Stop Date Eruption Certainty VEI Evidence Activity Area or Unit
2001 Oct 1 ± 20 days 2007 Sep 20 Confirmed 1 Historical Observations NW of Mount Belinda
[ 1996 Sep 1 ± 180 days ] [ Unknown ] Uncertain 1  

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 P E, 1968. Comparative volcanology and petrology of the Atlantic island arcs. Bull Volc, 32: 189-206.

IAVCEI, 1973-80. Post-Miocene Volcanoes of the World. IAVCEI Data Sheets, Rome: Internatl Assoc Volc Chemistry Earth's Interior..

LeMasurier W E, Thomson J W (eds), 1990. Volcanoes of the Antarctic Plate and Southern Oceans. Washington, D C: Amer Geophys Union, 487 p.

Patrick M R, Smellie J L, Harris A J L, Wright R, Dean K, Izbekov P, Garbeil H, Pilger E, 2005. First recorded eruption of Mount Belinda volcano (Montagu Island), South Sandwich Islands. Bull Volc, 67: 415-422.

The largest of the South Sandwich Islands, Montagu consists of a massive shield volcano cut by a 6-km-wide ice-filled summit caldera. The summit of the 10 x 12 km wide island rises about 3000 m from the sea floor between Bristol and Saunders Islands. Around 90% of the island is ice-covered; glaciers extending to the sea typically form vertical ice cliffs. The name Mount Belinda has been applied both to the high point at the southern end of the summit caldera and to the young central cone. Mount Oceanite, an isolated 900-m-high peak with a 270-m-wide summit crater, lies at the SE tip of the island and was the source of lava flows exposed at Mathias Point and Allen Point. There was no record of Holocene or historical eruptive activity until MODIS satellite data, beginning in late 2001, revealed thermal anomalies consistent with lava lake activity that has been persistent since then. Apparent plumes and single anomalous pixels were observed intermittently on AVHRR images during the period March 1995 to February 1998, possibly indicating earlier unconfirmed and more sporadic volcanic activity.