Report on Kavachi (Solomon Islands) — August 1978
Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, vol. 3, no. 8 (August 1978)
Managing Editor: David Squires.
Kavachi (Solomon Islands) Eruption ends
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 1978. Report on Kavachi (Solomon Islands). In: Squires, D. (ed.), Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, 3:8. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.SEAN197808-255060.
8.991°S, 157.979°E; summit elev. -20 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
When observed on 28 July, the eruption had ended. A small rocky island, about 15 m long, 5 m wide and no more than 3 m high remained at the eruption site. The island was expected to be destroyed by wave action within a few days to a few weeks.
Geologic Background. Named for a sea-god of the Gatokae and Vangunu peoples, Kavachi is one of the most active submarine volcanoes in the SW Pacific, located in the Solomon Islands south of Vangunu Island about 30 km N of the site of subduction of the Indo-Australian plate beneath the Pacific plate. Sometimes referred to as Rejo te Kvachi ("Kavachi's Oven"), this 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 eruptions. The roughly conical edifice rises from water depths of 1.1-1.2 km on the north and greater depths to the SE. Frequent shallow submarine and occasional subaerial eruptions produce phreatomagmatic explosions that eject steam, ash, and incandescent bombs. On a number of occasions lava flows were observed on the ephemeral islands.
Information Contacts: F. Coulson and D. Tuni, Ministry of Natural Resources, Honiara.