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Suretamatai

Photo of this volcano
  • Vanuatu
  • Vanuatu Volcanic Arc
  • Composite | Complex
  • 1966 CE
  • Country
  • Volcanic Province
  • Landform | Volc Type
  • Last Known Eruption
  • 13.8°S
  • 167.47°E

  • 921 m
    3022 ft

  • 257010
  • Latitude
  • Longitude

  • Summit
    Elevation

  • Volcano
    Number

Most Recent Weekly Report: 30 August-5 September 2023 Citation IconCite this Report

On 31 August the Vanuatu Meteorology and Geohazards Department (VMGD) reported that activity at Suretamatai continued at a level of “minor unrest.” No notable volcanic emissions were identified in the most recent satellite data, though steam emissions from areas around the cone and the Sulphur River continued to be locally observed. The public was reminded that the danger zone was near the cone and the Sulphur River, though the risk to the public was low.

Source: Vanuatu Meteorology and Geohazards Department (VMGD)


Most Recent Bulletin Report: July 1991 (BGVN 16:07) Citation IconCite this Report

Fumarolic activity

"During our survey, no change in activity at the major geothermal areas (Frenchman's Solfataras and Hell's Gate) was noted, with respect to descriptions by Aubert de la Rue (1937) and Hochstein (1980). Slightly superheated fumaroles (with sulfur deposits), hot springs, and boiling ponds up to 3 m in diameter occurred over a 300-m strip along the Sulfur River (E flank) between 300 to 400 m elevation. The temperature of the Sulfur River at Hell's Gate remained stable at 50°C.

"Soretimeat . . . is a composite volcano built on an ancient Pleistocene edifice. Ash emissions reported in 1860 and 1965-66 are most likely to have been from hydrothermal explosions (Ash and others, 1980)." ["Flames" were observed during an apparent eruption in 1865 (Atkin, 1868).]

References. Ash, R.P., Carney, J.N., and MacFarlane, A., 1980, Geology of the northern Banks Islands: New Hebrides Geological Survey Regional Report, p. 1-47.

Atkin, J., 1868, On volcanoes in the New Hebrides and Banks Islands: Proceedings of the Geological Society of London, v. 24, p. 305-307.

Aubert de la Rue, E., 1937, La Volcanisme aux Nouvelles Hebrides (Melanesie): BV, v. 2, p. 79-142.

Hochstein, M.P., 1980, Geology of the Northern Banks Islands: New Hebrides Geological Survey Regional Report, p. 47-49.

Information Contacts: C. Robin and M. Monzier, ORSTOM, Nouméa, New Caledonia; M. Lardy and C. Douglas, ORSTOM, Vanuatu; C. Mortimer, Dept. of Geology, Mines, and Rural Water Supply, Vanuatu; J. Eissen, ORSTOM, France.

Weekly Reports - Index


2023: August
2016: June


30 August-5 September 2023 Citation IconCite this Report

On 31 August the Vanuatu Meteorology and Geohazards Department (VMGD) reported that activity at Suretamatai continued at a level of “minor unrest.” No notable volcanic emissions were identified in the most recent satellite data, though steam emissions from areas around the cone and the Sulphur River continued to be locally observed. The public was reminded that the danger zone was near the cone and the Sulphur River, though the risk to the public was low.

Source: Vanuatu Meteorology and Geohazards Department (VMGD)


1 June-7 June 2016 Citation IconCite this Report

On 27 May the Vanuatu Geohazards Observatory stated that the Alert Level for Suretamatai was increased to 1 (on a scale of 0-4) because of a change in activity. VGO reminded residents and tourists that areas around the volcano and along the Sulfur River (E flank) were high-risk zones due to potential impacts from volcanic gas emissions.

Source: Vanuatu Meteorology and Geohazards Department (VMGD)


Bulletin Reports - Index

Reports are organized chronologically and indexed below by Month/Year (Publication Volume:Number), and include a one-line summary. Click on the index link or scroll down to read the reports.

07/1991 (BGVN 16:07) Fumarolic activity




Information is preliminary and subject to change. All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


July 1991 (BGVN 16:07) Citation IconCite this Report

Fumarolic activity

"During our survey, no change in activity at the major geothermal areas (Frenchman's Solfataras and Hell's Gate) was noted, with respect to descriptions by Aubert de la Rue (1937) and Hochstein (1980). Slightly superheated fumaroles (with sulfur deposits), hot springs, and boiling ponds up to 3 m in diameter occurred over a 300-m strip along the Sulfur River (E flank) between 300 to 400 m elevation. The temperature of the Sulfur River at Hell's Gate remained stable at 50°C.

"Soretimeat . . . is a composite volcano built on an ancient Pleistocene edifice. Ash emissions reported in 1860 and 1965-66 are most likely to have been from hydrothermal explosions (Ash and others, 1980)." ["Flames" were observed during an apparent eruption in 1865 (Atkin, 1868).]

References. Ash, R.P., Carney, J.N., and MacFarlane, A., 1980, Geology of the northern Banks Islands: New Hebrides Geological Survey Regional Report, p. 1-47.

Atkin, J., 1868, On volcanoes in the New Hebrides and Banks Islands: Proceedings of the Geological Society of London, v. 24, p. 305-307.

Aubert de la Rue, E., 1937, La Volcanisme aux Nouvelles Hebrides (Melanesie): BV, v. 2, p. 79-142.

Hochstein, M.P., 1980, Geology of the Northern Banks Islands: New Hebrides Geological Survey Regional Report, p. 47-49.

Information Contacts: C. Robin and M. Monzier, ORSTOM, Nouméa, New Caledonia; M. Lardy and C. Douglas, ORSTOM, Vanuatu; C. Mortimer, Dept. of Geology, Mines, and Rural Water Supply, Vanuatu; J. Eissen, ORSTOM, France.

This compilation of synonyms and subsidiary features may not be comprehensive. Features are organized into four major categories: Cones, Craters, Domes, and Thermal Features. Synonyms of features appear indented below the primary name. In some cases additional feature type, elevation, or location details are provided.

Eruptive History

There is data available for 3 confirmed Holocene eruptive periods.

1965 Aug 9 - 1966 Jul 2 ± 182 days Confirmed Eruption Max VEI: 2

Episode 1 | Eruption Episode NW flank
1965 Aug 9 - 1966 Jul 2 ± 182 days Evidence from Observations: Reported

List of 5 Events for Episode 1 at NW flank

Start Date End Date Event Type Event Remarks
   - - - -    - - - - Explosion
   - - - -    - - - - Phreatic activity
   - - - -    - - - - Ash
   - - - -    - - - - Crater Parasitic.
1965 Aug 9    - - - - VEI (Explosivity Index)

1861 (?) Confirmed Eruption Max VEI: 2

Episode 1 | Eruption Episode
1861 (?) - Unknown Evidence from Observations: Reported

List of 3 Events for Episode 1

Start Date End Date Event Type Event Remarks
   - - - -    - - - - Explosion
   - - - -    - - - - Flames
1861
(?)
   - - - - VEI (Explosivity Index)

1856 (?) Confirmed Eruption Max VEI: 2 (?)

Episode 1 | Eruption Episode
1856 (?) - Unknown Evidence from Observations: Reported

List of 3 Events for Episode 1

Start Date End Date Event Type Event Remarks
   - - - -    - - - - Explosion
   - - - -    - - - - Ash
1856
(?)
   - - - - VEI (Explosivity Index)

[ 1841 ] Uncertain Eruption

Episode 1 | Eruption Episode
1841 - Unknown Evidence from Unknown
Deformation History

There is no Deformation History data available for Suretamatai.

Emission History

There is no Emissions History data available for Suretamatai.

Photo Gallery

The southern two-thirds of Vanua Lava Island is seen in this NASA International Space Station image. Suretamatai volcano forms much of the island, with the most recent activity occurring in the northern part of the island near the area with small clouds at the top of the image. The Pleistocene Ngéré Kwon volcano forms the peninsula at the bottom of the image, and small offshore islands to the right are uplifted reef limestones. Activity that began during the 19th century has consisted of moderate explosive eruptions.

NASA International Space Station image ISS006-E-40035, 2003 (http://eol.jsc.nasa.gov/).
Vanua Lava Island of Vanuatu is shown in this February 2018 Planet Labs satellite image monthly mosaic (N is at the top; this image is approximately 40 km across). The majority of cones, craters, and features are in the northern part of the island, and comprise the Surematai volcano. The Pleistocene Ngere Kwon volcano formed the southernmost peninsula.

Satellite image courtesy of Planet Labs Inc., 2018 (https://www.planet.com/).
Craters and cones of Suretamatai in Vanua Lava Island, Vanuatu, are visible across this February 2018 Planet Labs satellite image monthly mosaic (N is at the top; this image is approximately 10 km across). The field covers much of the island, with a NNE-SSW trend of cones (shown here), with the largest edifice towards the northern end having formed multiple craters along a NW-SE trend. Geothermal activity continues.

Satellite image courtesy of Planet Labs Inc., 2019 (https://www.planet.com/).
The 5-km-wide southern peninsula of Vanua Lava Island, Vanuatu, is seen in this 2018 Planet Labs satellite image monthly mosaic (N is at the top). The Pleistocene Ngere Kwon volcano formed this area, which has since been deeply eroded.

Satellite image courtesy of Planet Labs Inc., 2018 (https://www.planet.com/).
GVP Map Holdings

Maps are not currently available due to technical issues.

The maps shown below have been scanned from the GVP map archives and include the volcano on this page. Clicking on the small images will load the full 300 dpi map. Very small-scale maps (such as world maps) are not included.

Smithsonian Sample Collections Database

There are no samples for Suretamatai in the Smithsonian's NMNH Department of Mineral Sciences Rock and Ore collection.

External Sites