Teahitia

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  • Country
  • Volcanic Region
  • Primary Volcano Type
  • Last Known Eruption
  • 17.564°S
  • 148.821°W

  • -1743 m
    -5717 ft

  • 333010
  • Latitude
  • Longitude

  • Summit
    Elevation

  • Volcano
    Number

Most Recent Bulletin Report: January 1985 (SEAN 10:01) Cite this Report


Earthquake swarm and probable submarine eruption

Between 11 and 22 January, RSP stations on Tahiti recorded about 10,000 seismic events near Teahitia (figure 4). From 15-19 January, about 50 seismic events stronger than ML 3.5 were recorded. A number of those were felt by some of the inhabitants of Tahiti, 40 km SW, and three, of magnitudes 4.0, 4.2, and 4.4, were felt by the entire population. Very intense, high-frequency, long-duration volcanic tremors were recorded 19 January. Talandier noted that the intensity and duration of the tremors pointed to magmatic transfer. He also stated that this swarm certainly led to a submarine eruption, as did previous swarms. There were more events and greater seismic energy release in the January swarm than in previous swarms in April-May 1982, July and December 1983, and April-May 1984. Only the 1982 swarm had stronger deep activity.

Figure 4. Seismicity near Teahitia during 5 January-23 February 1985. Number of recorded earthquakes at 12-hour intervals (solid line), duration of high-frequency tremor in minutes (bars), and cumulative seismic energy release (dashed line, log scale). Courtesy of J. Talandier.

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

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

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.

04/1982 (SEAN 07:04) Seismicity suggests first historical eruption

08/1983 (SEAN 08:08) Shallow earthquakes and high-frequency tremor

04/1984 (SEAN 09:04) Seismic swarms indicate two submarine eruptions

01/1985 (SEAN 10:01) Earthquake swarm and probable submarine eruption




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


April 1982 (SEAN 07:04) Cite this Report


Seismicity suggests first historical eruption

On 14 March, the RSP began to record earthquakes in the vicinity of a seamount, with a summit at about 2 km below sea level, located about 3 km W of Rocard submarine volcano (17.640°S, 148.60°W) and 40 km NE of Tahiti's Taiarapu Peninsula. The increasing activity consisted only of low-magnitude earthquakes until 25 March, when the five Tahiti-Moorea seismic stations began to detect volcanic tremor of 5-10 Hz frequency (figure 1). The Laboratoire de Géophysique attributed the tremor to magma movement and submarine eruptions. Periods of tremor, of variable duration but nearly continuous on some days, accompanied the increasingly numerous discrete earthquakes. Tremor began to decline after 9 April and none has been recorded since the 18th. As of 23 April, weak earthquakes and episodic 1.5-2 Hz seismic noise continued. More than 10,000 individual earthquakes (ML > 0.9) were recorded during the swarm, the strongest of which had magnitudes of 3.5-4 (ML) and were felt on Tahiti.

Figure 1. Seismicity near Teahitia during 17 March-30 April 1982. Number of recorded earthquakes at 12-hour intervals (solid line), duration of high-frequency tremor in minutes (bars), and cumulative seismic energy release (dashed line, log scale). Courtesy of J. Talandier.

No volcanic activity had previously been known at the seamount, for which the name Teahitia has been proposed. The activity was similar to that of Mehetia (90 km ESE), March-December 1981.

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


August 1983 (SEAN 08:08) Cite this Report


Shallow earthquakes and high-frequency tremor

Between 11 and 20 July, the RSP recorded 3,000-4,000 shallow earthquakes at Teahitia, accompanied by high-frequency volcanic tremor (figure 2).

Figure 2. Seismicity near Teahitia during 10 July-24 August 1983. Number of recorded earthquakes at 12-hour intervals (solid line), duration of high-frequency tremor in minutes (bars), and cumulative seismic energy release (dashed line, log scale). Courtesy of J. Talandier.

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


April 1984 (SEAN 09:04) Cite this Report


Seismic swarms indicate two submarine eruptions

From August 1983 to March 1984, the RSP recorded numerous sequences of low-frequency volcanic tremor and two seismic swarms associated with submarine eruptions at Teahitia. On 20-21 December, 300 very small earthquakes were recorded. From 3 March-15 April 1984, approximately 9,000 earthquakes were recorded, accompanied by low- and high-frequency spasmodic and harmonic tremor (figure 3).

Figure 3. Seismicity near Teahitia during 3 March-17 April 1984. Number of recorded earthquakes at 12-hour intervals (solid line), duration of high-frequency tremor in minutes (bars), and cumulative seismic energy release (dashed line, log scale). Courtesy of J. Talandier.

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


January 1985 (SEAN 10:01) Cite this Report


Earthquake swarm and probable submarine eruption

Between 11 and 22 January, RSP stations on Tahiti recorded about 10,000 seismic events near Teahitia (figure 4). From 15-19 January, about 50 seismic events stronger than ML 3.5 were recorded. A number of those were felt by some of the inhabitants of Tahiti, 40 km SW, and three, of magnitudes 4.0, 4.2, and 4.4, were felt by the entire population. Very intense, high-frequency, long-duration volcanic tremors were recorded 19 January. Talandier noted that the intensity and duration of the tremors pointed to magmatic transfer. He also stated that this swarm certainly led to a submarine eruption, as did previous swarms. There were more events and greater seismic energy release in the January swarm than in previous swarms in April-May 1982, July and December 1983, and April-May 1984. Only the 1982 swarm had stronger deep activity.

Figure 4. Seismicity near Teahitia during 5 January-23 February 1985. Number of recorded earthquakes at 12-hour intervals (solid line), duration of high-frequency tremor in minutes (bars), and cumulative seismic energy release (dashed line, log scale). Courtesy of J. Talandier.

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

Basic Data

Volcano Number

Last Known Eruption

Elevation

Latitude
Longitude
333010

1985 CE

-1743 m / -5717 ft

17.564°S
148.821°W

Volcano Types

Submarine

Rock Types

Major
Trachybasalt / Tephrite Basanite
Basalt / Picro-Basalt

Tectonic Setting

Intraplate
Oceanic crust (< 15 km)

Population

Within 5 km
Within 10 km
Within 30 km
Within 100 km
0
0
0
203,248

Geological Summary

Teahitia is a submarine volcano in the Society Islands whose summit reaches to within ~1700 m of the surface, 40 km NE of the SE tip of Tahiti Island. Several seismic swarms in the 1980s included volcanic tremor that may have resulted from submarine eruptions (Talandier and Opal, 1984). Rocks dredged in 1986 "exploded" when they reached the surface, suggesting recent lava extrusion that had not yet had time to equilibrate with pressure and temperature conditions on the submerged flanks of the edifice. Two hydrothermal fields each about 1 km by 400 m in size that emitted low-temperature hydrothermal venting were discovered on the flanks during submersible dives in 1986 and 1989.

References

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

Cheng Q C, Macdougall J D, Lugmair G W, 1993. Geochemical studies of Tahiti, Teahitia and Mehetia, Society Island Chain. J Volc Geotherm Res, 55: 155-184.

Hekinian R, Bideau D, Stoffers P, Cheminee J L, Muhe R, Puteanus D, Binard N, 1991. Submarine intraplate volcanism in the South Pacific: geological setting and petrology of the Society and Austral regions. J Geophys Res, 96: 2109-2138.

Smithsonian Institution-SEAN, 1975-89. [Monthly event reports]. Bull Scientific Event Alert Network (SEAN), v 1-14.

Talandier J, Okal E A, 1984. The volcanoseismic swarms of 1981-1983 in the Tahiti-Mehetia area, French Polynesia. J Geophys Res, 89: 11,216-11,234.

Eruptive History


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


Start Date Stop Date Eruption Certainty VEI Evidence Activity Area or Unit
1985 Jan 10 1985 Jan 25 Confirmed 0 Hydrophonic
1983 Dec 18 1984 Jul 14 Confirmed 0 Hydrophonic
1983 Jul 12 1983 Jul 26 Confirmed 0 Hydrophonic
1982 Mar 16 1982 May 19 Confirmed 0 Hydrophonic

The Global Volcanism Program has no synonyms or subfeatures listed for Teahitia.

The Global Volcanism Program has no photographs available for Teahitia.

Smithsonian Sample Collections Database


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

Affiliated Sites

Large Eruptions of Teahitia 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.