Upolu

Photo of this volcano
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  • Country
  • Volcanic Region
  • Primary Volcano Type
  • Last Known Eruption
  • 13.935°S
  • 171.72°W

  • 1100 m
    3608 ft

  • 244030
  • Latitude
  • Longitude

  • Summit
    Elevation

  • Volcano
    Number

The Global Volcanism Program has no activity reports for Upolu.

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

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

Basic Data

Volcano Number

Last Known Eruption

Elevation

Latitude
Longitude
244030

Unknown - Evidence Credible

1100 m / 3608 ft

13.935°S
171.72°W

Volcano Types

Shield
Pyroclastic cone(s)

Rock Types

Major
Basalt / Picro-Basalt
Minor
Andesite / Basaltic Andesite
Trachyandesite / Basaltic trachy-andesite
Trachyte / Trachyandesite

Tectonic Setting

Subduction zone
Oceanic crust (< 15 km)

Population

Within 5 km
Within 10 km
Within 30 km
Within 100 km
680
13,753
144,419
198,677

Geological Summary

The massive, basaltic shield volcano forming 75-km-long Upolu Island in Samoa is elongated in an E-W direction and was constructed during two periods of extensive eruptions during the Pliocene and Pleistocene. The most extensive activity during the Pleistocene took place along a 20-km segment along the central axis of the island. Following a lengthy period of erosion, the latest lava flows, at least three of which were estimated to be as young as a few hundred to a few thousand years old, were erupted from vents near the crest of the island at its center and western side (Stearns, 1944). One of the youngest flows reached the north-central coast along a roughly 1.5-km-wide front east of Vailele Bay, and another traveled down the Lefaga River channel and reached the SW coast at Lefaga Bay. Apolima Island off the western tip of Upolu is a Holocene tuff cone too young to be fringed by a coral reef, and other reef-free areas along the coastline may be formed by Holocene lava flows.

References

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

IAVCEI, 1973-80. Post-Miocene Volcanoes of the World. IAVCEI Data Sheets, Rome: Internatl Assoc Volc Chemistry Earth's Interior..

Kear D, Wood B L, 1959. The geology and hydrology of western Samoa. New Zeal Geol Surv Bull, 63: 1-92.

Nemeth K, Cronin S J, Lolo F, Leavasa M, Solomona D S, Nelson F, 2007. Volcanic evolution, oral traditions of volcanism of Western Samoa (SW Pacific) and their volcanic hazard implications. Geol Soc New Zeal, New Zeal Geophys Soc Joint Annual Conf, Prog Abs, p 113.

Stearns H T, 1944. Geology of the Samoan Islands. Geol Soc Amer Bull, 55: 1279-1332.

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

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
Afolau Cone 13° 52' 1" S 172° 0' 29" W
Apolima Tuff cone 13° 49' 30" S 172° 9' 25" W
Fanuatapu Tuff ring 14° 1' 1" S 171° 23' 6" W
Fiamoe Cone 13° 55' 23" S 171° 47' 31" W
Fito Pyroclastic cone 13° 56' 6" S 171° 43' 1" W
Fogalepulu Cone 13° 58' 55" S 171° 33' 0" W
Laloanea Cone 13° 55' 0" S 171° 50' 13" W
Lano-o-Lepa Cone 14° 0' 11" S 171° 30' 4" W
Lano-o-Moa Cone 14° 1' 41" S 171° 26' 53" W
Lanuata'ata Cone 13° 54' 47" S 171° 50' 38" W
Lanuto'o, Lake Cone 13° 54' 47" S 171° 49' 26" W
Lauti Cone 13° 53' 0" S 171° 59' 10" W
Lua-o-Fafine Cone 14° 2' 0" S 171° 27' 7" W
Lua-o-Tane Cone 14° 2' 0" S 171° 26' 53" W
Maliota Cone 13° 53' 17" S 171° 54' 25" W
Mauga Ali'i Cone 13° 58' 19" S 171° 34' 8" W
Mauga-o-Savai'i Cone 14° 0' 7" S 171° 31' 0" W
Monono Island Lava cone 13° 51' 0" S 172° 7' 0" W
Namu'a Tuff ring 14° 1' 23" S 171° 24' 0" W
Nu'ulua Tuff ring 14° 4' 23" S 171° 23' 42" W
Nu'utele
    Vini
Tuff ring 14° 3' 47" S 171° 24' 29" W
Pue, Le Cone 13° 56' 0" S 171° 44' 42" W
Seuga Cone 13° 59' 53" S 171° 31' 55" W
Siga'ele Cone 13° 54' 18" S 171° 52' 5" W
Taito'elau Cone 13° 54' 0" S 171° 53' 53" W
Tiatala Cone 14° 0' 0" S 171° 30' 25" W
Upolu, Tafua Pyroclastic cone 13° 52' 37" S 171° 57' 43" W
Viatoa Cone 13° 55' 0" S 171° 46' 0" W

Photo Gallery


The massive, basaltic shield volcano forming 75-km-long Upolu Island in Samoa is seen in this Space Shuttle view (with north to the upper left). The youngest lava flows, erupted after a lengthy period of erosion, originated from vents near the crest of the island and may be only a few hundred to a few thousand years old. Apolima Island, the small circular island west of reef-bounded Manono Island off the western tip of Upolu (lower right), is a Holocene tuff cone too young to be fringed by a coral reef.

NASA Space Shuttle image STS111-715-29, 2002 (http://eol.jsc.nasa.gov/).
The forested cinder cone of Tafua Upolu rises near the western tip of 75-km-long Upolu Island in Samoa. The massive shield volcano is elongated in an E-W direction and was constructed during two periods of extensive eruptions during the Pliocene and Pleistocene. Following a lengthy period of erosion, the latest lava flows, at least three of which were estimated to be as young as a few hundred to a few thousand years old, were erupted from vents near the crest of the island at its center and western side.

Photo by Karoly Nemeth (Massey University).

Smithsonian Sample Collections Database


A listing of samples from the Smithsonian collections will be available soon.

Affiliated Sites

Large Eruptions of Upolu 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).
MODVOLC - HIGP MODIS Thermal Alert System Using infrared satellite Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) data, scientists at the Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology, University of Hawai'i, developed an automated system called MODVOLC to map thermal hot-spots in near real time. For each MODIS image, the algorithm automatically scans each 1 km pixel within it to check for high-temperature hot-spots. When one is found the date, time, location, and intensity are recorded. MODIS looks at every square km of the Earth every 48 hours, once during the day and once during the night, and the presence of two MODIS sensors in space allows at least four hot-spot observations every two days. Each day updated global maps are compiled to display the locations of all hot spots detected in the previous 24 hours. There is a drop-down list with volcano names which allow users to 'zoom-in' and examine the distribution of hot-spots at a variety of spatial scales.
MIROVA Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity (MIROVA) is a near real time volcanic hot-spot detection system based on the analysis of MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) data. In particular, MIROVA uses the Middle InfraRed Radiation (MIR), measured over target volcanoes, in order to detect, locate and measure the heat radiation sourced from volcanic activity.