Matthew Island

Photo of this volcano
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  • Country
  • Volcanic Region
  • Primary Volcano Type
  • Last Known Eruption
  • 22.33°S
  • 171.32°E

  • 177 m
    581 ft

  • 258010
  • Latitude
  • Longitude

  • Summit
    Elevation

  • Volcano
    Number

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

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

Index of Monthly Reports

Reports are organized chronologically and indexed below by Month/Year (Publication Volume:Number), and include a one-line summary. Click on the index link or scroll down to read the reports.

12/1976 (SEAN 01:15) Extensive dust clouds and water discoloration

01/1977 (SEAN 02:01) Additional details from 27 November observation flight

07/1977 (SEAN 02:07) Photograph from 11 February showing the vent

03/1983 (SEAN 08:03) White vapor from central crater


Contents of Monthly Reports

All information contained in these reports is preliminary and subject to change.

All times are local (= UTC + 11 hours)

12/1976 (SEAN 01:15) Extensive dust clouds and water discoloration

On 27 November, the crew of a RNZAF P3 aircraft noted extensive dust clouds above Matthew Island, and discoloration of the surrounding water. The New Zealand Defense Scientific Establishment is investigating this activity.

Information Contacts: J. Latter, DSIR, Wellington; Defense Scientific Establishment, Auckland; J. Barnes, N.Z. Defense Staff, Washington DC.

01/1977 (SEAN 02:01) Additional details from 27 November observation flight

The following is additional information obtained by the RNZAF from the crew of the aircraft that flew over Matthew Island on 27 November.

During the overflight, the volcano emitted a gray dust cloud that merged with a layer of stratus clouds (held to about 350 m altitude by a temperature inversion). A strong sulfur odor was present in the area. Muddy gray discolored water was carried SE by the current. Because of poor weather and light conditions, no photographs were taken. More recent information on the activity is not available.

Information Contacts: Defense Scientific Establishment, Auckland; J. Barnes, N.Z. Defense Staff, Washington DC.

07/1977 (SEAN 02:07) Photograph from 11 February showing the vent

[An RNZAF crew flew over Matthew Island on 11 February and photographed the volcano. The vent was weakly emitting vapor (figure 1).]

Figure 1. Photograph taken from the N on 11 February 1977, showing the vent and about 2/3 of Matthew Island. Photograph taken by the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF).

Information Contact: I. Nairn, NZGS, Rotorua.

03/1983 (SEAN 08:03) White vapor from central crater

A Vanuatu government team arrived at Matthew Island on 10 March at 0700. The only activity noted was emission of wispy, white vapor from the central crater in the island's W (main) edifice.

Further Reference. Maillet, P., Monzier, M., and Lefevre, C., 1987, Petrology of Matthew and Hunter volcanoes, South New Hebrides Island Arc (Southwest Pacific): JVGR, v. 30, p. 1-29.

Information Contact: A. Macfarlane, Dept. of Geology, Mines, and Rural Water Supplies, Vanuatu.

Isolated Matthew Island is composed of two low andesitic-to-dacitic cones separated by a narrow isthmus. Matthew Island was discovered in 1788 by a ship captain, who named the island after the owner of his vessel. Only the triangular eastern portion of the small, 0.6 x 1.2 km wide island was present prior to the 1940s, when construction of the larger western segment began; it consists primarily of lava flows. The 177-m-high western cone contains a crater that is breached to the NW and is filled by a lava flow whose terminus forms the NW coast.

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

Start Date Stop Date Eruption Certainty VEI Evidence Activity Area or Unit
[ 1976 Nov 27 ] [ Unknown ] Uncertain 1  
[ 1966 Aug ] [ Unknown ] Uncertain    
1956 ± 2 years Unknown Confirmed 0 Historical Observations West-Matthew
1954 Oct (?) Unknown Confirmed 2 Historical Observations West-Matthew (October 1954, not 1953)
1949 (in or before) Unknown Confirmed 2 Historical Observations West-Matthew
[ 1828 Jan ] [ Unknown ] Uncertain    

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.



Synonyms
Matheu | Mathew


Cones
Feature Name Feature Type Elevation Latitude Longitude
East-Matthew Cone 142 m
West-Matthew Cone 177 m
On November 27, 1976, a "dust cloud," water discoloration, and sulfur odor were reported from Matthew Island. It was later noted that no noticeable eruptive event or change in island morphology had occurred since 1958. This February 1977 photo shows the steaming crater of Matthew Island volcano.

Photo by Royal New Zealand Air Force, 1977.
Isolated Matthew Island is composed of two low cones separated by a narrow isthmus. Matthew Island was discovered in 1788 by a ship captain, who named the island after the owner of his vessel. Only the triangular eastern portion of the small, 0.6 x 1.2 km wide island was present prior to the 1940's, when construction of the larger western segment (part of which is seen in the photo) began. The 177-m-high western cone consists primarily of lava flows and contains a crater that is breached to the NW.

Photo by Royal New Zealand Air Force, 1977.

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.

Fisher N H, 1957. Melanesia. Catalog of Active Volcanoes of the World and Solfatara Fields, Rome: IAVCEI, 5: 1-105.

Maillet P, Monzier M, Lefevre C, 1986. Petrology of Matthew and Hunter volcanoes, south New Hebrides island arc (southwest Pacific). J Volc Geotherm Res, 30: 1-27.

Monzier M, Danyushevsky L V, Crawford A J, Bellon H, Cotton J, 1993. High-Mg andesites from the southern termination of the New Hebrides island arc (SW Pacific). J Volc Geotherm Res, 57: 193-217.

Volcano Types

Stratovolcano

Tectonic Setting

Subduction zone
Crustal thickness unknown

Rock Types

Major
Andesite / Basaltic Andesite
Dacite

Population

Within 5 km
Within 10 km
Within 30 km
Within 100 km
1
1
1
1

Affiliated Databases

Large Eruptions of Matthew 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.