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  • Country
  • Volcanic Region
  • Primary Volcano Type
  • Last Known Eruption
  • 19.67°S
  • 175.03°W

  • 1030 m
    3378 ft

  • 243061
  • Latitude
  • Longitude

  • Summit

  • Volcano

The Global Volcanism Program has no activity reports for Kao.

The Global Volcanism Program has no Weekly Reports available for Kao.

The Global Volcanism Program has no Bulletin Reports available for Kao.

Basic Data

Volcano Number

Last Known Eruption



Unknown - Evidence Credible

1030 m / 3378 ft


Volcano Types


Rock Types

Andesite / Basaltic Andesite

Tectonic Setting

Subduction zone
Oceanic crust (< 15 km)


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

Geological Summary

The highest and most spectacular volcano of the Tonga Islands, symmetrical Kao volcano rises steeply to 1030 m about 6 km north of Tofua Island. Kao is elongated in a NNE-SSW direction and, with the exception of a small flat area on the SSW coast, rises at angles exceeding 35 degrees to the summit, which has a series of small coalescing craters. The lower flanks of the basaltic-andesite volcano are densely jungled, but the upper slopes are almost vegetation free. No historical eruptions are known from Kao, and fresh-appearing lava flows are not seen, although the absence of sufficient time for erosion to produce deep gullies or high sea cliffs suggests a very recent origin.


The following references have all been used during the compilation of data for this volcano, it is not a comprehensive bibliography.

Bryan W B, Stice G D, Ewart A, 1972. Geology, petrology, and geochemistry of the volcanic islands of Tonga. J Geophys Res, 77: 1566-1585.

Taylor P W, Ewart A, 1997. The Tofua Volcanic Arc, Tonga, SW Pacific: a review of historic volcanic activity. Aust Volc Invest Occ Rpt, 97/01: 1-58.

The Global Volcanism Program is not aware of any Holocene eruptions from Kao. If this volcano has had large eruptions (VEI >= 4) prior to 10,000 years ago, information might be found on the Kao page in the LaMEVE (Large Magnitude Explosive Volcanic Eruptions) database, a part of the Volcano Global Risk Identification and Analysis Project (VOGRIPA).

The Global Volcanism Program has no synonyms or subfeatures listed for Kao.

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