Kaitoku Seamount

No photo available for this volcano
Google Earth icon
  Google Earth Placemark
  • Country
  • Volcanic Region
  • Primary Volcano Type
  • Last Known Eruption
  • 29.233°N
  • 140.754°E

  • -95 m
    -312 ft

  • 284100
  • Latitude
  • Longitude

  • Summit

  • Volcano

Most Recent Bulletin Report: December 1990 (BGVN 15:12) Cite this Report

No water discoloration seen in 1990

No discolorations were observed at . . . Kaitoku . . . during 1990.

Information Contacts: Hydrographic Department, JMSA.

The Global Volcanism Program has no Weekly Reports available for Kaitoku Seamount.

Bulletin Reports - Index

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.

02/1984 (SEAN 09:02) Large area of discolored water; small plumes

04/1984 (SEAN 09:04) Acoustic waves recorded in French Polynesia

05/1984 (SEAN 09:05) Discolored water; floating lapilli; formal name

10/1984 (SEAN 09:10) Discolored water after 3 months of quiet

12/1990 (BGVN 15:12) No water discoloration seen in 1990

Information is preliminary and subject to change. All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

February 1984 (SEAN 09:02) Cite this Report

Large area of discolored water; small plumes

On 7 March at 1230, the crew of a Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) transport plane flying about 130 km N of Iwo-Jima observed a fan-shaped zone of discolored sea water that extended about [28] km WSW from a submarine vent. The maximum width of the discolored zone was about 9 km. A helicopter flew over the area shortly thereafter and its crew estimated that the extent of the reddish-brown water was roughly as large as Iwo Jima Island (about 5 x 8 km).

The next morning, JMSA personnel observed continuous submarine eruptive activity. Gray or yellowish brown water was ejected every 10 minutes and waves spread outward from the vents. The sea colors included gray, white, yellowish brown, and reddish brown. JMSA observers saw neither plumes nor floating ejecta, although small white plumes and rocks or reefs were seen during a flight by the JMSDF at about noon the same day. On 12 March, personnel aboard a JMSDF patrol plane again saw floating material, and a plume about 100 m above sea level. Only discoloration was found during a JMSA flight 13 March. As of the 13th, no new island had been observed at the eruption site.

The activity was located near the site of an eruption reported in 1543 at 26.00°N, 140.77°E.

Information Contacts: JMA.

April 1984 (SEAN 09:04) Cite this Report

Acoustic waves recorded in French Polynesia

RSP stations on Rangiroa, Tubuai, and Rikitéa recorded acoustic waves (T-phase) from a strong submarine volcanic eruption in the vicinity of the Izu Islands. Between 25 March and 30 April, more than 500 signals were received, 300 between 2 and 9 April. Most of the events were impulsive and of short duration, indicating explosive volcanic activity at a shallow depth. Some of the events were emergent and of longer duration indicating quiet emission of lava. J.M. Talandier noted that these events appear to be correlated with the submarine activity reported in 9:2.

Information Contacts: J. Talandier, Lab. de Géophysique, Tahiti.

May 1984 (SEAN 09:05) Cite this Report

Discolored water; floating lapilli; formal name

JMSA observations beginning 7 March indicated that eruptive activity was at its highest level in mid to late March, when floating ejecta and vapor plumes were nearly always seen. Beginning in April, activity subsided gradually. The area of discolored water decreased from 13 x 30 km in early March to 300 m in diameter in early May (table 1).

On either side of the submarine vent are two shallow areas, at 26.13°N, 141.10°E, and 26.05°N, 140.93°E (figure 1). JMSA has formally named the feature Kaitoku Kaizan (Kaitoku Seamount).

Figure 1. Cross-section (top) and bathymetry (bottom) at Kaitoku Seamount. Courtesy of JMSA.

Information Contacts: JMA, Tokyo.

October 1984 (SEAN 09:10) Cite this Report

Discolored water after 3 months of quiet

JMSA reconnaissance revealed few signs of activity since the March eruption. Pumice was observed only around the eruption site; none washed up on shore.

Activity gradually declined. To the crew that overflew the area at noon on 9 April, the water discoloration was barely distinguishable, and no ejecta or plume was seen (table 1). JMSA and JMSDF saw no discolored water or other activity on 10 and 31 July, 1 August, and 6 and 26 September. However, the crew of the MV Emblem reported a 3.5-5-km area of upwelling and water discoloration on 15 October.

Table 1. JMSA observations at Kaitoku Seamount, March-June 1984. Courtesy of JMA.

    1984         Observation

    07 March     9 x [28] km of discolored water
    08 March     Floating lapilli; 0.5-3 x 50 km of discolored water
    09 March     Seawater temperature at vent 0.5°C higher than
                 floating lapilli; 9-13 x 30 km of discolored water
    12 March     Floating lapilli; discolored water
    13 March     Seawater near vent 0.5-1°C higher; floating lapilli;
                 vapor plume
    15 March     Floating lapilli
    16-19 March  Floating lapilli; vapor plume
    22 March     Dark plume; luminescence at night
    23 March     Vapor plume; luminescence at night
    24-25 March  Vapor plume
    26 March     Floating lapilli
    09 April     0.3 x 5 km of very weak water discoloration
    09-10 May    Area of discolored water 0.3 km in diameter
    15 May       White upwelling and discoloration, 3.5 km in diameter
    18 May       Milky white discoloration, 0.18 km wide
    09 June      Weak green discoloration, 0.15 x 0.05 km

Further Reference. Tsuchide, M., Kato, S., Uchida, A., Sato, H., Konishi, N., Osaka, J., and Hirabayashi, J., 1985, Submarine volcanic activity at the Kaitoku seamount in 1984: Rep. Hydrograph. Res., v. 20, p. 47-82.

Information Contacts: JMA, Tokyo.

December 1990 (BGVN 15:12) Cite this Report

No water discoloration seen in 1990

No discolorations were observed at . . . Kaitoku . . . during 1990.

Information Contacts: Hydrographic Department, JMSA.

Basic Data

Volcano Number

Last Known Eruption



1984 CE

-95 m / -312 ft


Volcano Types


Rock Types

Basalt / Picro-Basalt
Andesite / Basaltic Andesite

Tectonic Setting

Subduction zone
Crustal thickness unknown


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

Geological Summary

A submarine eruption was observed in 1984 from the SE peak of Kaitoku Seamount (Kaitoku Kaizan), a three-peaked submarine volcano 130 km NNW of Kita-Iojima. The SE peak is also known as Higashi-Kaitokuba (East Kaitokuba). A submarine eruption had previously been reported in 1543 from a point near the SW summit, the shallowest of the three, also known as Nishi-Kaitokuba (West Kaitokuba). The Japan Meteorological Agency (1996) listed depths of 103, 353, and 506 m for the SW, SE, and northern summits, respectively. The three volcanoes, whose summits are 13-18 km apart, are the highest features of a massive submarine volcano.


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

Bloomer S H, Stern R J, Smoot N C, 1989. Physical volcanology of the submarine Mariana and Volcano arcs. Bull Volc, 51: 210-224.

Japan Meteorological Agency, 1996. National Catalogue of the Active Volcanoes in Japan (second edition). Tokyo: Japan Meteorological Agency, 502 p (in Japanese).

Japan Meteorological Agency, 2013. National Catalogue of the Active Volcanoes in Japan (fourth edition, English version). Japan Meteorological Agency.

Kudo T, Hoshizumi H, 2006-. Catalog of eruptive events within the last 10,000 years in Japan, database of Japanese active volcanoes. Geol Surv Japan, AIST, http://riodb02.ibase.aist.go.jp/db099/eruption/index.html.

Kuno H, 1962. Japan, Taiwan and Marianas. Catalog of Active Volcanoes of the World and Solfatara Fields, Rome: IAVCEI, 11: 1-332.

Nakano S, Yamamoto T, Iwaya T, Itoh J, Takada A, 2001-. Quaternary Volcanoes of Japan. Geol Surv Japan, AIST, http://www.aist.go.jp/RIODB/strata/VOL_JP/.

Tsuchide M, Kato S, Uchida A, Sato H, Konishi N, Ossaka J, Hirabayashi J, 1985. Submarine volcanic activity at the Kaitoku seamount in 1985. Rpt Hydrographic Res, 20: 47-82 (in Japanese with English abs).

Volcanological Society of Japan, 1960-96. Bull Volc Eruptions, no 1-33. [Annual reports issued 1 to 3 years after event year, published since 1986 in Bull Volc].

Yuasa M, Murakami F, Saito E, Watanabe K, 1991. Submarine topography of seamounts on the volcanic front of the Izu-Ogasawara (Bonin) Arc. Bull Geol Surv Japan, 42: 703-743.

Eruptive History

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

Start Date Stop Date Eruption Certainty VEI Evidence Activity Area or Unit
[ 1986 Jun 18 ] [ 1986 Jun 18 ] Uncertain 0  
[ 1984 Dec 23 ] [ 1984 Dec 23 ] Uncertain 0  
1984 Mar 8 1984 Mar 26 (?) Confirmed 0 Historical Observations Higashi-Kaitokuba
1543 Unknown Confirmed 0 Historical Observations West flank of Nishi-Kaitokuba

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.


Kaitoku Kaizan | Kaitoku-okanoba


Feature Name Feature Type Elevation Latitude Longitude
Higashi-Kaitokuba Cone 26° 7' 18" N 141° 6' 6" E
Nishi-Kaitokuba Cone 26° 5' 0" N 140° 57' 0" E

The Global Volcanism Program has no photographs available for Kaitoku Seamount.

Smithsonian Sample Collections Database

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

Affiliated Sites

Large Eruptions of Kaitoku Seamount 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.