Macauley Island

Photo of this volcano
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  • Country
  • Volcanic Region
  • Primary Volcano Type
  • Last Known Eruption
  • 30.2°S
  • 178.47°W

  • 238 m
    781 ft

  • 242021
  • Latitude
  • Longitude

  • Summit
    Elevation

  • Volcano
    Number

The Global Volcanism Program has no activity reports for Macauley Island.

The Global Volcanism Program has no Weekly Reports available for Macauley Island.

The Global Volcanism Program has no Bulletin Reports available for Macauley Island.

Macauley Island is a remnant of the rim of a large submarine caldera centered 8 km to the NW. The 3-km-wide island consists of a low, gently sloping surface of rhyolitic pumice from the caldera-forming eruption truncated by steep cliffs formed of underlying basaltic lava flows. The pre-caldera Macauley volcano consisted of two generations of shield volcanoes separated by a period of growth of a pyroclastic cone. Eruption of the voluminous Sandy Bay Tuff about 6300 years ago truncated the NW side of the Annexation shield volcano and formed a 12-km-wide, 1.1-km deep caldera during one of the largest eruptions identified in the SW Pacific. Following formation of the caldera and substantial marine erosion, a partly submarine and partly subaerial eruption centered about 2 km north of present-day Macauley Island produced basaltic scoriae and lava flows. A reported possible eruption from "Brimstone Island," 45 km west of Macauley at a location with a depth of about 2000 m and SW of Giggenbach submarine volcano, is likely a location error and could refer to an eruption from the submarine flank of Macauley caldera (Lloyd et al., 1996).

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

Start Date Stop Date Eruption Certainty VEI Evidence Activity Area or Unit
[ 1887 Dec 1 ] [ Unknown ] Uncertain 0   22 km NNE of Macauley Island
[ 1825 Sep 6 ] [ Unknown ] Uncertain 0   "Brimstone Island," W of Macauley Island
4360 BCE ± 200 years Unknown Confirmed 6 Radiocarbon (uncorrected) Sandy Bay Tuff

This compilation of synonyms and subsidiary features may not be comprehensive. Features are organized into four major categories: Cones, Craters, Domes, and Thermal Features. Synonyms of features appear indented below the primary name. In some cases additional feature type, elevation, or location details are provided.


Cones

Feature Name Feature Type Elevation Latitude Longitude
Annexation Shield volcano
Haszard, Mount Cone 238 m 30° 12' 0" S 178° 28' 0" W
A bathymetric map view shows Macauley and Giggenbach submarine volcanoes in the Kermadec arc with a submersible dive site and Macauley Island labeled. Giggenbach is in the NW corner of the map, and the Pisces submersible dive area is on the eastern rim of Macauley caldera. The map contour interval is 100 meters, and the resolution of the bathymetry data is 25 meters. The proprietary bathymetry data were obtained during a 2005 New Zealand/American NOAA Ocean Explorer research expedition to the Kermadec arc.

Image courtesy of New Zealand Nat. Inst. of Water & Atmospheric Research, 2005 (http://oceanexplorer.noaa.gov/explorations/05fire).
The submersible vessel Pisces V surfaces in the foreground after a dive in front of Macauley Island during a 2005 New Zealand/American NOAA Ocean Explorer research expedition to the Kermadec arc. This view from the NW shows a prominent white band in the cliff-face that is made of dacitic pyroclastic-flow deposits. The 3-km-wide Macauley Island is a remnant of the rim of a large submarine caldera centered 8 km to the NW and has a low, gently sloping surface truncated by steep cliffs.

Image courtesy of NOAA, 2005 (http://oceanexplorer.noaa.gov/explorations/05fire).

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.

Latter J H, Lloyd E F, Smith I E M, Nathan S, 1992. Volcanic hazards in the Kermadec Islands, and at submarine volcanoes between southern Tonga and New Zealand. New Zeal Ministry Civil Defense, Volc Hazards Inf Ser, 4: 1-45.

Lloyd E F, Nathan S, Smith I E M, Stewart R B, 1996. Volcanic history of Macauley Island, Kermedec Ridge, New Zealand. New Zeal J Geol Geophys, 39: 295-308.

NIWA/NOAA Vents Program, 2005. New Zealand American submarine ring of fire 2005 Kermadec arc submarine volcanoes. New Zeal Nat Inst Water Atmosph Res/NOAA Vents Program final cruise report (http://www.oceanexplorer.noaa.gov/explorations/05fire/logs/leg2_summary/media/srof05_cruisereport_final.pdf).

Smith I E M, Stewart R B, Price R C, 2003. The petrology of a large intra-oceanic silicic eruption: the Sandy Bay Tephra, Kermadec arc, southwest Pacific. J Volc Geotherm Res, 124: 173-194.

Wright I C, Worthington T J, Gamble J A, 2006. New multibeam mapping and geochemistry of the 30°-35° S sector, and overview, of southern Kermadec arc volcanism. J Volc Geotherm Res, 149: 263-296.

Volcano Types

Caldera
Pyroclastic cone(s)

Tectonic Setting

Subduction zone
Oceanic crust (< 15 km)

Rock Types

Major
Basalt / Picro-Basalt
Rhyolite
Minor
Dacite
Andesite / Basaltic Andesite

Population

Within 5 km
Within 10 km
Within 30 km
Within 100 km
0
0
0
0

Affiliated Databases

Large Eruptions of Macauley Island 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.