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Report on Tinakula (Solomon Islands) — August 2011


Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, vol. 36, no. 8 (August 2011)
Managing Editor: Richard Wunderman.

Tinakula (Solomon Islands) MODVOLC thermal alerts extend through September 2011

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2011. Report on Tinakula (Solomon Islands) (Wunderman, R., ed.). Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, 36:8. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.BGVN201108-256010


Solomon Islands

10.386°S, 165.804°E; summit elev. 796 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

Our previous report on Tinakula (BGVN 35:01) summarized MODVOLC thermal alert data through 27 February 2010. This report notes MODVOLC alerts through September 2011. Tinakula is a rarely visited or monitored island in the Santa Cruz Island complex, which is part of the Solomon Island group in the South Pacific ocean (figures 8-10).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 8. The location of Tinakula in the Santa Cruz Islands. Courtesy of McCoy and Cleghorn (1988).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 9. Sketch map of Tinakula island based on work and publications by G.W. Hughes (1972) and colleagues, and summarized by Eissen and others (1991). (This previously appeared in BGVN 28:01.)
Figure (see Caption) Figure 10. Stamp from the British Solomon Islands showing Tinakula. Top stamp shows the summit crater emitting a plume and well-developed radial channels with abundant material deposited on the volcano's lower right flank. Bottom stamp illustrates the large scar across the island's NW side. These stamps were featured on the website of Iomoon.com.

An image captured on 25 May 2010 by the MODIS instrument aboard the Aqua satellite, showed an ash plume from the volcano. It is not known whether plumes during the time period of this report were frequent.

MODVOLC thermal alerts continued through the rest of 2010 and through at least September 2011. During March 2010 through October 2010, the number of alerts ranged from zero to three per month. The number of alerts rose to 10 in November and to 20 in December, then decreased to 11 in January 2011. Between February and 26 September 2011, the number of alerts ranged from two to 12 per month. In July 2011, the two recorded alerts were 4 pixels each, a high during the time period for this report.

References. Eissen, J-P., Blot, C., and Louat, R., 1991, Chronology of the historic volcanic activity of the New Hebrides island arc from 1595 to 1991: Rapports Scientifiques et Technique, Sciences de la Terre, No. 2, ORSTOM, France.Hughes, G.W., 1972, Geological map of Tinakula: Nendö sheet EOI 1, Soloman Geol. Survey, Honiara.McCoy, P.C., and Cleghorn, 1988, Archaeological Excavations on Santa Cruz (Nendö), Southeast Solomon Islands: Summary Report, pp. 104-115 (map on 105 and at URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40386813?seq=2),in Archaeology in Oceania.

Geological Summary. The small 3.5-km-wide island of Tinakula is the exposed summit of a massive stratovolcano at the NW end of the Santa Cruz islands. It has a breached summit crater that extends from the summit to below sea level. Landslides enlarged this scarp in 1965, creating an embayment on the NW coast. The Mendana cone is located on the SE side. The dominantly andesitic volcano has frequently been observed in eruption since the era of Spanish exploration began in 1595. In about 1840, an explosive eruption apparently produced pyroclastic flows that swept all sides of the island, killing its inhabitants. Recorded eruptions have frequently originated from a cone constructed within the large breached crater. These have left the upper flanks and the steep apron of lava flows and volcaniclastic debris within the breach unvegetated.

Information Contacts: Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP), MODVOLC Thermal Alerts System, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST), Univ. of Hawai'i, 2525 Correa Road, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA (URL: http://modis.higp.hawaii.edu/); Iomoon.com (URL: http://www.iomoon.com/).