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The Traitor's Head Peninsula north of Cook Bay on eastern Erromango Island is comprised of three Holocene volcanic cones that are the youngest on the 50-km-long island. Mounts Rantop, Nagat, and Oulenou are small basaltic-to-andesitic stratovolcanoes with well-preserved morphologies. Mount Rantop is the largest, rising to 837 m, and 421-m-high Mount Oulenou is the most youthful looking, with an unbreached crater. A low plateau to the NW is underlain by ash deposits distributed by southeasterly trade winds. The volcanoes initially formed an offshore island that was joined to the mainland by uplift after volcanism ceased. A submarine vent offshore between the tip of the peninsula and Goat Island, 5 km to the NE, erupted in 1881, the only historical activity of the Erromango volcanoes.
Summary of Holocene eruption dates and Volcanic Explosivity Indices (VEI).
|Start Date||Stop Date||Eruption Certainty||VEI||Evidence||Activity Area or Unit|
|[ 1959 ]||[ Unknown ]||Uncertain||Four submarine vents N of Erromango|
|1881||Unknown||Confirmed||0||Historical Observations||NE flank submarine vent|
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|
|Nagat||Cone||774 m||18° 45' 0" S||169° 15' 0" E|
|Oulenou||Cone||421 m||18° 46' 0" S||169° 13' 0" E|
|Rantop, Mount||Cone||837 m||18° 46' 0" S||169° 14' 0" E|
|The rectangular peninsula at the top of this Space Shuttle image of Erromango Island with north approximately to the left is the Traitor's Head Peninsula. It lies north of Cook Bay, named for Captain Cook, who actually landed at Polenia Bay on the other side of the peninsula. Three Holocene volcanic cones at Traitor's Head are the youngest on the 50-km-long island. The volcanoes initially formed an offshore island that was later joined to the mainland by uplift. The only historical activity at Erromango was a submarine vent that erupted in 1881.
NASA Space Shuttle image STS68-220-4, 1994 (http://eol.jsc.nasa.gov/).
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.
Colley H, Ash R P, 1971. The geology of Erromango. New Hebrides Condominium Geol Surv Reg Rpt, 112 p.
Fisher N H, 1957. Melanesia. Catalog of Active Volcanoes of the World and Solfatara Fields, Rome: IAVCEI, 5: 1-105.
Katsui Y (ed), 1971. List of the World Active Volcanoes. Volc Soc Japan draft ms, (limited circulation), 160 p.
Marcelot G, Maury R C, Lefevre C, 1983. Mineralogy of Erromango lavas (New Hebrides): evidence of an early stage of fractionation in island arc basalts. Lithos, 16: 135-151.
New Hebrides Geological Survey, 1974. Geology of Erromango. New Hebrides Geol Surv, 1:100,000 geol map sheet 10.