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Report on Matthew Island (France) — December 1976

Matthew Island

Natural Science Event Bulletin, vol. 1, no. 15 (December 1976)
Managing Editor: David Squires.

Matthew Island (France) Extensive dust clouds and water discoloration

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 1976. Report on Matthew Island (France) (Squires, D., ed.). Natural Science Event Bulletin, 1:15. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.NSEB197612-258010

Matthew Island


22.33°S, 171.32°E; summit elev. 177 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

On 27 November, the crew of a RNZAF P3 aircraft noted extensive dust clouds above Matthew Island, and discoloration of the surrounding water. The New Zealand Defense Scientific Establishment is investigating this activity.

Geological Summary. Isolated Matthew Island is composed of two low andesitic-to-dacitic cones separated by a narrow isthmus. Matthew Island was discovered in 1788 by a ship captain, who named the island after the owner of his vessel. Only the triangular eastern portion of the small, 0.6 x 1.2 km wide island was present prior to the 1940s, when construction of the larger western segment began; it consists primarily of lava flows. The 177-m-high western cone contains a crater that is breached to the NW and is filled by a lava flow whose terminus forms the NW coast.

Information Contacts: J. Latter, DSIR, Wellington; Defense Scientific Establishment, Auckland; J. Barnes, N.Z. Defense Staff, Washington DC.