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Report on Monowai (New Zealand) — March 1991

Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, vol. 16, no. 3 (March 1991)
Managing Editor: Lindsay McClelland.

Monowai (New Zealand) Acoustic T-wave swarms

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 1991. Report on Monowai (New Zealand) (McClelland, L., ed.). Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, 16:3. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.BGVN199103-242050.

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New Zealand

25.887°S, 177.188°W; summit elev. -132 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

Acoustic T-waves of long duration, typical of shallow submarine eruptions, were recorded 29 October-2 November and 15-19 November 1990, 20-25 January, 2-5 February, and 10-25 March 1991 by the RSP. The signals originated in the vicinity of Monowai Seamount.

Geologic Background. Monowai, also known as Orion seamount, rises to within 100 m of the sea surface about halfway between the Kermadec and Tonga island groups. The volcano lies at the southern end of the Tonga Ridge and is slightly offset from the Kermadec volcanoes. Small parasitic cones occur on the N and W flanks of the basaltic submarine volcano, which rises from a depth of about 1500 m and was named for one of the New Zealand Navy bathymetric survey ships that documented its morphology. A large 8.5 x 11 km wide submarine caldera with a depth of more than 1500 m lies to the NNE. Numerous eruptions from Monowai have been detected from submarine acoustic signals since it was first recognized as a volcano in 1977. A shoal that had been reported in 1944 may have been a pumice raft or water disturbance due to degassing. Surface observations have included water discoloration, vigorous gas bubbling, and areas of upwelling water, sometimes accompanied by rumbling noises.

Information Contacts: J. Talandier, LDG, Tahiti.