Report on Kavachi (Solomon Islands) — 10 February-16 February 2021
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 10 February-16 February 2021
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2021. Report on Kavachi (Solomon Islands). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 10 February-16 February 2021. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
8.991°S, 157.979°E; summit elev. -20 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
Satellite data showed discolored water around and to the SW of Kavachi on 25 January. Discolored water was not obviously visible in 20 January images; weather clouds prevented views of the area in images through 14 February.
Geologic Background. Named for a sea-god of the Gatokae and Vangunu peoples, Kavachi is one of the most active submarine volcanoes in the SW Pacific, located in the Solomon Islands south of Vangunu Island. Sometimes referred to as Rejo te Kvachi ("Kavachi's Oven"), this shallow submarine basaltic-to-andesitic volcano has produced ephemeral islands up to 1 km long many times since its first recorded eruption during 1939. Residents of the nearby islands of Vanguna and Nggatokae (Gatokae) reported "fire on the water" prior to 1939, a possible reference to earlier eruptions. The roughly conical edifice rises from water depths of 1.1-1.2 km on the north and greater depths to the SE. Frequent shallow submarine and occasional subaerial eruptions produce phreatomagmatic explosions that eject steam, ash, and incandescent bombs. On a number of occasions lava flows were observed on the ephemeral islands.