Report on Home Reef (Tonga) — 7 September-13 September 2022
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
7 September-13 September 2022
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2022. Report on Home Reef (Tonga). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 7 September-13 September 2022. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
18.992°S, 174.775°W; summit elev. -10 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
The Tonga Geological Services reported that a new submarine eruption at Home Reef began at 0139 on 10 September based on a volcanic gas plume detected in satellite images. By 1259 material had formed a new small island, about 70 m in diameter and an estimated 10 m above the ocean surface. Gas emissions rose less than 1 km above the sea. Submarine activity was detected during 12-13 September, and a thermal anomaly was identified in a satellite image acquired at 1400 on 13 September. The Aviation Color Code was raised to Yellow (the second lowest level on a four-color scale) and mariners were advised to stay 5 km away from the volcano. Gas emissions persisted at least through 14 September, with plumes rising less than 1 km.
Geological Summary. Home Reef, a submarine volcano midway between Metis Shoal and Late Island in the central Tonga islands, was first reported active in the mid-19th century, when an ephemeral island formed. An eruption in 1984 produced a 12-km-high eruption plume, copious amounts of floating pumice, and an ephemeral island 500 x 1500 m wide, with cliffs 30-50 m high that enclosed a water-filled crater. Another island-forming eruption in 2006 produced widespread dacitic pumice rafts that reached as far as Australia.