Report on Tinakula (Solomon Islands) — June 2004

Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, vol. 29, no. 6 (June 2004)
Managing Editor: Richard Wunderman.

Tinakula (Solomon Islands) Additional MODVOLC thermal anomalies identified from January 2001

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2004. Report on Tinakula (Solomon Islands). In: Wunderman, R (ed.), Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, 29:6. Smithsonian Institution.

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Solomon Islands

10.386°S, 165.804°E; summit elev. 796 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

Inspection of Terra MODIS day- and night-time data (i.e. original data, rather than the thresholded alert data on the MODVOLC website) for 2001 and 2002 identified cloud-free intervals over Tinakula during January-April 2001, August-September 2001, January 2002, and August-September 2002. MODVOLC thermal alerts were previously reported for 15 January, 6 March, and 16 April 2001 (BGVN 28:01). Recognizable thermal anomalies not noted earlier by the automated system appeared at night on 10 January 2001 (alert ratio, -0.804), and during the day on 25 January 2001 (alert ratio, -0.790). This new information reinforces the interpretation that small-scale activity was occurring during the January-April 2001 time period.

Data acquisition and analysis. Reports from Diego Coppola and David A. Rothery provided analyses of MODIS thermal alerts during 2001 and 2002 (using the MODVOLC alert-detection algorithm) extracted from the MODIS Thermal Alerts website ( maintained by the University of Hawaii HIGP MODIS Thermal Alerts team (BGVN 28:01). Rothery and Charlotte Saunders provided updates to 31 May 2004. MODVOLC data are now routinely available from the Aqua satellite (equator crossing times 0230 and 1430 local time) in addition to the original Terra satellite (equator crossing times 1030 and 2230 local time).

Geologic Background. The small 3.5-km-wide island of Tinakula is the exposed summit of a massive stratovolcano at the NW end of the Santa Cruz islands. Similar to Stromboli, it has a breached summit crater that extends from the summit to below sea level. Landslides enlarged this scarp in 1965, creating an embayment on the NW coast. The satellitic cone of Mendana is located on the SE side. The dominantly andesitic volcano has frequently been observed in eruption since the era of Spanish exploration began in 1595. In about 1840, an explosive eruption apparently produced pyroclastic flows that swept all sides of the island, killing its inhabitants. Frequent historical eruptions have originated from a cone constructed within the large breached crater. These have left the upper flanks and the steep apron of lava flows and volcaniclastic debris within the breach unvegetated.

Information Contacts: David A. Rothery and Charlotte Saunders, Department of Earth Sciences, The Open University, Milton Keynes, MK7 6AA, United Kingdom.