Candlemas Island

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  • Country
  • Volcanic Region
  • Primary Volcano Type
  • Last Known Eruption
  • 57.08°S
  • 26.67°W

  • 550 m
    1804 ft

  • 390100
  • Latitude
  • Longitude

  • Summit

  • Volcano

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

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

The Global Volcanism Program has no Bulletin Reports available for Candlemas Island.

Basic Data

Volcano Number

Last Known Eruption



1911 CE

550 m / 1804 ft


Volcano Types

Pyroclastic cone(s)

Rock Types

Basalt / Picro-Basalt
Andesite / Basaltic Andesite

Tectonic Setting

Subduction zone
Oceanic crust (< 15 km)


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

Geological Summary

The southern end of Candlemas Island consists of an eroded, glacier-covered basaltic stratovolcano cut by steep cliffs on the east. Lava flows along the cliff dip to the west, suggesting that the original summit vent was beyond the eastern shoreline. The northern end of the irregularly shaped, 6-km-long island consists of an andesitic-to-dacitic complex of scoria cones with radiating lava flows. These initially formed a separate island but now consist of a low attached platform that is estimated to be no more than a few hundred years old (LeMasurier and Thomson, 1990). Dark brown clouds mixed with white steam were reported in 1823 and 1911, but it has not been demonstrated which, if any, of the young north flank lava flows formed since the island was discovered in 1775. Geysers and hot pools have been observed on several occasions during the 20th century. Vindication Island, of possible Holocene age, is located 4.5 km west of Candlemas Island.


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

Berninghausen W H, Neumann van Padang M, 1960. Antarctica. Catalog of Active Volcanoes of the World and Solfatara Fields, Rome: IAVCEI, 10: 1-32.

LeMasurier W E, Thomson J W (eds), 1990. Volcanoes of the Antarctic Plate and Southern Oceans. Washington, D C: Amer Geophys Union, 487 p.

Tomblin J F, 1979. The South Sandwich Islands: II. The geology of Candlemas Island. Brit Antarctic Surv Sci Rpt, 92: 1-33.

Eruptive History

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

Start Date Stop Date Eruption Certainty VEI Evidence Activity Area or Unit
[ 1953 Dec 31 ± 365 days ] [ Unknown ] Uncertain 0   NW flank (Lucifer Hill)
1911 Nov 6 Unknown Confirmed 2 Historical Observations NW flank (Lucifer Hill)
1823 Unknown Confirmed 2 Historical Observations NW flank (Lucifer Hill)
1250 BCE (?) Unknown Confirmed   Ice Core S Sandwich Is (probably Candlemass)

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.


Lichtmess Insel | Candelaria


Feature Name Feature Type Elevation Latitude Longitude
Lucifer Hill Cone 229 m 57° 4' 0" S 26° 42' 0" W
Vindication Island
    Vindicatory Island
Cone 442 m 57° 5' 0" S 26° 43' 0" W

Photo Gallery

The southern end of Candlemas Island (upper right) consists of an eroded, glacier-covered stratovolcano whose lava flows may have originated from a former summit vent located east of the island. The snow-free area at the NW part of the island is Lucifer Hill, a scoria-cone complex that was the source of snow-covered lava flows seen in this image. Geysers and hot pools have been observed on several occasions during the 20th century. Vindication Island (lower left), of possible Holocene age, is located 4.5 km west of Candlemas Island.

ASTER satellite image, 2001 (National Aeronautical and Space Administration, courtesy of ASTER science team).
The glacier-covered peaks of Mount Andromeda (Ieft) and Mount Perseus (right) rise along the eastern side of Candlemas Island. Young lava fields erupted from Lucifer Hill appear at the far right, beyond a narrow spit dividing greenish Gorgon Pool from Kraken Cove. Medusa Pool lies below the cloud beyond Gorgon Pool. Contemporary accounts indicate modifications to these spits and flats since a 1908 visit to the island, and Lucifer Hill erupted in the 19th century and possibly after the 1908 visit. Vindication Island rises beyond Candlemas.

Photograph by HMS Endurance (courtesy of John Smellie, British Antarctic Survey).

Smithsonian Sample Collections Database

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

Affiliated Sites

Large Eruptions of Candlemas 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).
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.