McDonald Islands

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  • Country
  • Subregion Name
  • Primary Volcano Type
  • Last Known Eruption
  • 53.03°S
  • 72.6°E

  • 230 m
    754 ft

  • 234011
  • Latitude
  • Longitude

  • Summit
    Elevation

  • Volcano
    Number

10 August-16 August 2005

The Darwin VAAC issued a precautionary advisory on 10 August warning pilots of the possible presence of low-level ash near McDonald Island. The advisory was based on a press release made by the Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage, the parent agent of the Australian Antarctic Division. The press release discussed a hotspot at McDonald Island that was visible on satellite imagery on 12 July. The Darwin VAAC did not see ash in satellite imagery.

Sources: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC), Australian Antarctic Division



 Available Weekly Reports


2005: August


10 August-16 August 2005

The Darwin VAAC issued a precautionary advisory on 10 August warning pilots of the possible presence of low-level ash near McDonald Island. The advisory was based on a press release made by the Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage, the parent agent of the Australian Antarctic Division. The press release discussed a hotspot at McDonald Island that was visible on satellite imagery on 12 July. The Darwin VAAC did not see ash in satellite imagery.

Sources: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC), Australian Antarctic Division


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

Start Date Stop Date Eruption Certainty VEI Evidence Activity Area or Unit
2005 Jul 12 (in or before) Unknown Confirmed 0 Historical Observations
[ 2004 Nov 14 ] [ 2004 Nov 14 ] Uncertain 1  
2001 May 3 ± 150 days Unknown Confirmed 1 Historical Observations
1996 Dec 1997 Feb 10 ± 30 days Confirmed 1 Historical Observations Northern part of McDonald Island
1992 Dec Unknown Confirmed 0 Historical Observations Submarine vent near McDonald Islands

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.

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

Volcanological Society of Japan, 1960-96. Bull Volc Eruptions, no 1-33. [Annual reports issued 1 to 3 years after event year, published since 1986 in Bull Volc].

Historical eruptions have greatly modified the morphology of the McDonald Islands, located on the Kerguelen Plateau about 75 km west of Heard Island. The largest island, McDonald, is composed of a layered phonolitic tuff plateau cut by phonolitic dikes and lava domes. A possible nearby active submarine center was inferred from phonolitic pumice that washed up on Heard Island in 1992. Volcanic plumes were observed in December 1996 and January 1997 from McDonald Island. During March of 1997 the crew of a vessel that sailed near the island noted vigorous steaming from a vent at the northern side of the island along with possible pyroclastic deposits and lava flows. A satellite image taken in November 2001 showed the island to have more than doubled in area since previous reported observations in November 2000. The high point of the island group had shifted to the northern end of McDonald Island, which had merged with Flat Island.