Report on Lateiki (Tonga) — 16 October-22 October 2019
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 16 October-22 October 2019
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2019. Report on Lateiki (Tonga). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 16 October-22 October 2019. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
19.18°S, 174.87°W; summit elev. 43 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
The Wellington VAAC reported that on 22 October pilots observed intermittent white plumes rising from Metis Shoal (Lateiki) to 3.7 km (12,000 ft) a.s.l. There was no ash signature in the plumes.
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.