Report on Heard (Australia) — 6 April-12 April 2022
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
6 April-12 April 2022
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2022. Report on Heard (Australia). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 6 April-12 April 2022. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
53.106°S, 73.513°E; summit elev. 2745 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
Satellite images of Heard Island’s Big Ben volcano showed thermal anomalies of varying intensity over Mawson Peak (the summit area) and on the NW flank during the previous month. Weather clouds prevented views of the volcano for 11 of the 14 acquisitions during 11 March-13 April. On 11 March a small thermal anomaly at the peak was visible along with a larger anomaly over a vent or multiple vents about 1 km W; the larger anomaly was elongated NE-SW, suggesting a lava flow. Multiple anomalies in the same areas were visible on 31 March and 13 April.
Geological Summary. Heard Island on the Kerguelen Plateau in the southern Indian Ocean consists primarily of the emergent portion of two volcanic structures. The large glacier-covered composite basaltic-to-trachytic cone of Big Ben comprises most of the island, and the smaller Mt. Dixon lies at the NW tip of the island across a narrow isthmus. Little is known about the structure of Big Ben because of its extensive ice cover. The historically active Mawson Peak forms the island's high point and lies within a 5-6 km wide caldera breached to the SW side of Big Ben. Small satellitic scoria cones are mostly located on the northern coast. Several subglacial eruptions have been reported at this isolated volcano, but observations are infrequent and additional activity may have occurred.
Source: Sentinel Hub