Hankow Reef

Photo of this volcano
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  • Country
  • Volcanic Region
  • Primary Volcano Type
  • Last Known Eruption
  • 4.883°S
  • 146.717°E

  • -5 m
    -16 ft

  • 251041
  • Latitude
  • Longitude

  • Summit

  • Volcano

The Global Volcanism Program has no activity reports for Hankow Reef.

The Global Volcanism Program has no Weekly Reports available for Hankow Reef.

The Global Volcanism Program has no Bulletin Reports available for Hankow Reef.

Basic Data

Volcano Number

Last Known Eruption



Unknown - Evidence Uncertain

-5 m / -16 ft


Volcano Types


Rock Types

No Data (checked)

Tectonic Setting

Subduction zone
Continental crust (> 25 km)


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

Geological Summary

Oral tradition suggests the possible existence of a now-submerged volcano off the coast of Papua New Guinea. Accounts from many villages along Madang coast report that residents fled from Yomba Island 8-10 generations ago when the island was destroyed by an eruption accompanied by a tsunami. The location of the former island is uncertain, but most informants placed it in the vicinity of the present-day Hankow Reef (Mennis, 1981), between Bagabag and Crown Islands, NW of Long Island. Binns et al. (2002) surveyed the area, locating two distinct seamounts as well as a caldera SW of the reef; they found no evidence for the existence of the legendary Yomba volcano.


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

Binns R A, Brodie P, Fulton R, Mapham B, Park S-H, Parr J M, Pinto A, Rees C, Subandrio A, Thomas S, Wama J, Whiting R, 2002. Exploration and Mining Report 939C (Final Cruise Report, RV Franklin, FR-02/2002, “BISMARCK-2002”): Submarine Hydrothermal and Volcanic Activity in the Western Bismarck Island Arc, Papua New Guinea. CSIRO Division of Exploration and Mining, Australia.

Lowenstein P L, 1982. Problems of volcanic hazards in Papua New Guinea. Geol Surv Papua New Guinea Rpt, 82/7: 1-62.

Mennis M R, 1981. Yomba Island: real or mythical volcano?. Geol Surv Papua New Guinea Mem, 10: 95-100.

Mennis M R, 2005. Yomba Island (Hankow Reef), Atlantis of the South Pacific. unpublished manuscript, 40 p.

The Global Volcanism Program is not aware of any Holocene eruptions from Hankow Reef. If this volcano has had large eruptions (VEI >= 4) prior to 10,000 years ago, information might be found on the Hankow Reef 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.




Feature Name Feature Type Elevation Latitude Longitude
Hankow Reef Seamount Cone -5 m 4° 53' 0" S 146° 43' 0" E
South Hankow Seamount Cone -231 m 4° 56' 5" S 146° 41' 15" E
West Hankow Seamount Cone -292 m 4° 52' 58" S 146° 37' 52" E

Photo Gallery

Hankow Reef is partially truncated just below the upper left corner of the cloud-covered portion of this NASA Landsat composite image (with north to the top). The possible existence of a now-submerged volcano named Yomba off the coast of Papua New Guinea is inferred from oral tradition and is considered to likely be at the location of Hankow Reef. The reef lies SE of Bagabag Island (upper left) and NW of Long Island, the larger island at the lower right. Crown Island lies beneath the cloud cover between Long Island and Hankow Reef.

NASA Landsat7 image (worldwind.arc.nasa.gov)

Smithsonian Sample Collections Database

There are no samples for Hankow Reef in the Smithsonian's NMNH Department of Mineral Sciences Rock and Ore collection.

Affiliated Sites

Large Eruptions of Hankow Reef 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.