Report on Lateiki (Tonga) — December 1979
Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, vol. 4, no. 12 (December 1979)
Managing Editor: David Squires.
Lateiki (Tonga) Additional information on eruptions and pumice drift
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 1979. Report on Lateiki (Tonga) (Squires, D., ed.). Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, 4:12. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.SEAN197912-243070.
19.18°S, 174.87°W; summit elev. 43 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
Most of the reported eruption sites were investigated during the 11-18 July cruise of the Fijian research vessel RV Bulikula. Deni Tuni reported that pumice arrived at the following Solomon Islands locations (figure 2) on the following dates: Malaita and the N and E shores of Santa Isabel, 1 October; Indispensable Strait and Guadalcanal, 6 October; Savo and the Russells, 18 October; and the SW shore of Rennell, 13 November.
|Figure 2. Sketch map of the Solomon Islands, showing locations and dates of pumice arrivals from Metis Shoal eruption, October-November 1979.|
Geologic Background. Lateiki, previously known as Metis Shoal, is a submarine volcano midway between the islands of Kao and Late that has produced a series of ephemeral islands since the first confirmed activity in the mid-19th century. An island, perhaps not in eruption, was reported in 1781 and subsequently eroded away. During periods of inactivity following 20th-century eruptions, waves have been observed to break on rocky reefs or sandy banks with depths of 10 m or less. Dacitic tuff cones formed during the first 20th-century eruptions in 1967 and 1979 were soon eroded beneath the ocean surface. An eruption in 1995 produced an island with a diameter of 280 m and a height of 43 m following growth of a lava dome above the surface.
Information Contacts: D. Woodhall and R. Richmond, Mineral Resources Dept., Fiji; D. Tuni, Ministry of Natural Resources, Solomon Islands.