Logo link to homepage

Report on Montagu Island (United Kingdom) — 9 November-15 November 2005

Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 9 November-15 November 2005
Managing Editor: Gari Mayberry

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2005. Report on Montagu Island (United Kingdom). In: Mayberry, G (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 9 November-15 November 2005. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Volcano Profile |  Weekly Report (9 November-15 November 2005)


Montagu Island

United Kingdom

58.445°S, 26.374°W; summit elev. 1370 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


A partly cloudy ASTER satellite image from 3 November appeared to indicate that large-scale effusive activity from the summit of Montagu Island (Mt. Belinda) had ceased. The image showed that the 3.5-km-long lava flow noted in previous reports (observed entering the sea in an image from 23 September 2005) had extended the shoreline on the N side of island. The new land extended approximately 500 m from the previous shoreline, and was ~400 m wide, equating to a total area of 0.2 square kilometers.

Geologic Background. The largest of the South Sandwich Islands, Montagu consists of a massive shield volcano cut by a 6-km-wide ice-filled summit caldera. The summit of the 10 x 12 km wide island rises about 3000 m from the sea floor between Bristol and Saunders Islands. Around 90% of the island is ice-covered; glaciers extending to the sea typically form vertical ice cliffs. The name Mount Belinda has been applied both to the high point at the southern end of the summit caldera and to the young central cone. Mount Oceanite, an isolated 900-m-high peak with a 270-m-wide summit crater, lies at the SE tip of the island and was the source of lava flows exposed at Mathias Point and Allen Point. There was no record of Holocene or historical eruptive activity until MODIS satellite data, beginning in late 2001, revealed thermal anomalies consistent with lava lake activity that has been persistent since then. Apparent plumes and single anomalous pixels were observed intermittently on AVHRR images during the period March 1995 to February 1998, possibly indicating earlier unconfirmed and more sporadic volcanic activity.

Sources: Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP) Thermal Alerts Team, British Antarctic Survey