Tristan da Cunha

Photo of this volcano
  • Country
  • Volcanic Region
  • Primary Volcano Type
  • Last Known Eruption
  • 37.092°S
  • 12.28°W

  • 2060 m
    6757 ft

  • 386010
  • Latitude
  • Longitude

  • Summit
    Elevation

  • Volcano
    Number

The Global Volcanism Program has no activity reports for Tristan da Cunha.

The Global Volcanism Program has no Weekly Reports available for Tristan da Cunha.

The Global Volcanism Program has no Bulletin Reports available for Tristan da Cunha.

Eruptive History


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


Start Date Stop Date Eruption Certainty VEI Evidence Activity Area or Unit
1961 Oct 10 1962 Mar 15 Confirmed 2 Historical Observations North flank
1700 ± 50 years Unknown Confirmed   Tephrochronology South flank

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.

Photo Gallery


The HMS Challenger lies off Tristan da Cunha island in this 1878 plate from "The Voyage of the Challenger." This converted military vessel was outfitted for scientific surveys and circumnavigated the globe during a three and half year journey. A central volcano rises above steep coastal cliffs that truncate lava flows. Pyroclastic cones dot the flanks of the volcano.

Plate from Thomson, 1878 (courtesy of NOAA Photo Library).
See title for photo information.
The SW side of Tristan da Cunha volcano rises above the southern Atlantic seas. The 2060-m-high summit cone towers above high cliffs that bound most sides of the 13-km-wide island. Lava flows dominate both the low-angle base and the steep upper flanks, although pyroclastic cones ringing the central cone are scattered around the lower flanks. The only historical eruption on Tristan da Cunha occurred during 1961 from a northshore vent and forced the evacuation of the island's only settlement.

Photo by Vicky Hards, 2004 (British Geological Survey, copyrighted NERC).
See title for photo information.
A lava flow extends to the sea from a small lava dome formed during the first historical eruption of Tristan da Cunha in 1961-1962. The flow is seen here from the SW with the island's only habited area, the village of Settlement (Edinburgh of the Seven Seas), in the foreground. The eruption began on October 10, 1961 and prompted the evacuation of the island's entire population to England. The eruption ended on March 15, 1962, and resettlement began in September of that year.

Photo by Vicky Hards, 2004 (British Geological Survey, copyrighted NERC).
See title for photo information.
This pumice block, with a one-pound coin for scale, was collected from the sea surface near Tristan da Cunha on August 3, 2004. An earthquake swarm lasting 6 hours beginning on July 29, 2004 was followed by the observation of large blocks of floating pumice. The event was considered to have originated from rising magma 25 km SE of Tristan.

Photo by Vicky Hards, 2004 (British Geological Survey, copyrighted NERC).
See title for photo information.

Smithsonian Sample Collections Database


The following 7 samples associated with this volcano can be found in the Smithsonian's NMNH Department of Mineral Sciences collections. Catalog number links will open a window with more information.

Catalog Number Sample Description
NMNH 110014 Trachyandesite
NMNH 110015 Trachyandesite
NMNH 110016 Trachyandesite
NMNH 110017 Olivine-basalt
NMNH 110018 Olivine-basalt
NMNH 110019 Basalt
NMNH 110020 Basalt

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