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Matthew Island

Photo of this volcano
  • France
  • Stratovolcano
  • 1956 CE
  •  
  • Country
  • Primary Volcano Type
  • Last Known Eruption
  •  
  • 22.33°S
  • 171.32°E

  • 177 m
    581 ft

  • 258010
  • Latitude
  • Longitude

  • Summit
    Elevation

  • Volcano
    Number

Most Recent Bulletin Report: March 1983 (SEAN 08:03) Citation IconCite this Report

White vapor from central crater

A Vanuatu government team arrived at Matthew Island on 10 March at 0700. The only activity noted was emission of wispy, white vapor from the central crater in the island's W (main) edifice.

Further Reference. Maillet, P., Monzier, M., and Lefevre, C., 1987, Petrology of Matthew and Hunter volcanoes, South New Hebrides Island Arc (Southwest Pacific): JVGR, v. 30, p. 1-29.

Information Contacts: A. Macfarlane, Dept. of Geology, Mines, and Rural Water Supplies, Vanuatu.

The Global Volcanism Program has no Weekly Reports available for Matthew Island.

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.

12/1976 (NSEB 01:15) Extensive dust clouds and water discoloration

01/1977 (NSEB 02:01) Additional details from 27 November observation flight

07/1977 (NSEB 02:07) Photograph from 11 February showing the vent

03/1983 (SEAN 08:03) White vapor from central crater




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


December 1976 (NSEB 01:15) Citation IconCite this Report

Extensive dust clouds and water discoloration

On 27 November, the crew of a RNZAF P3 aircraft noted extensive dust clouds above Matthew Island, and discoloration of the surrounding water. The New Zealand Defense Scientific Establishment is investigating this activity.

Information Contacts: J. Latter, DSIR, Wellington; Defense Scientific Establishment, Auckland; J. Barnes, N.Z. Defense Staff, Washington DC.


January 1977 (NSEB 02:01) Citation IconCite this Report

Additional details from 27 November observation flight

The following is additional information obtained by the RNZAF from the crew of the aircraft that flew over Matthew Island on 27 November.

During the overflight, the volcano emitted a gray dust cloud that merged with a layer of stratus clouds (held to about 350 m altitude by a temperature inversion). A strong sulfur odor was present in the area. Muddy gray discolored water was carried SE by the current. Because of poor weather and light conditions, no photographs were taken. More recent information on the activity is not available.

Information Contacts: Defense Scientific Establishment, Auckland; J. Barnes, N.Z. Defense Staff, Washington DC.


July 1977 (NSEB 02:07) Citation IconCite this Report

Photograph from 11 February showing the vent

[An RNZAF crew flew over Matthew Island on 11 February and photographed the volcano. The vent was weakly emitting vapor (figure 1).]

Figure (see Caption) Figure 1. Photograph taken from the N on 11 February 1977, showing the vent and about 2/3 of Matthew Island. Photograph taken by the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF).

Information Contacts: I. Nairn, NZGS, Rotorua.


March 1983 (SEAN 08:03) Citation IconCite this Report

White vapor from central crater

A Vanuatu government team arrived at Matthew Island on 10 March at 0700. The only activity noted was emission of wispy, white vapor from the central crater in the island's W (main) edifice.

Further Reference. Maillet, P., Monzier, M., and Lefevre, C., 1987, Petrology of Matthew and Hunter volcanoes, South New Hebrides Island Arc (Southwest Pacific): JVGR, v. 30, p. 1-29.

Information Contacts: A. Macfarlane, Dept. of Geology, Mines, and Rural Water Supplies, Vanuatu.

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.

[ 1976 Nov 27 ] Uncertain Eruption

[ 1966 Aug 16 ± 15 days ] Uncertain Eruption

[ 1963 Sep 11 - 1964 Jul 2 ± 182 days ] Uncertain Eruption

A hydrophone signal of low instensity rumbles was detected on 11 September 1963 from a source 230-240 degrees true from Kadavu Island (Fiji) (Kibblewhite, 1966). Although Kibblewhite (1966) postulated an unknown volcano along the 230 degree line in the North Norfolk Plateau area because of floating pumice reports on a navigational chart, no volcano has ever been identified in the area, nor is is geologically likely. A line 240 degrees from Kadavu falls between Matthew and Hunter islands. So considering the additional uncertain activity during the same timer period, and previous submarine activity that has added to the island, this acoustic report is included as another uncertain eruption of Matthew.

1956 Jul 2 ± 2 years ± 182 days Confirmed Eruption Max VEI: 0

Episode 1 | Eruption Episode West-Matthew
1956 Jul 2 ± 2 years ± 182 days - Unknown Evidence from Observations: Reported

List of 1 Events for Episode 1 at West-Matthew

Start Date End Date Event Type Event Remarks
1956 ± 2 years    - - - - VEI (Explosivity Index)

1954 Oct 16 (?) ± 15 days Confirmed Eruption Max VEI: 2

Episode 1 | Eruption Episode West-Matthew (October 1954, not 1953)
1954 Oct 16 (?) ± 15 days - Unknown Evidence from Observations: Reported

List of 3 Events for Episode 1 at West-Matthew (October 1954, not 1953)

Start Date End Date Event Type Event Remarks
   - - - -    - - - - Explosion Uncertain
   - - - -    - - - - Fauna Kill Terrestrial.
1954 Oct (?)    - - - - VEI (Explosivity Index)

1949 (in or before) Confirmed Eruption Max VEI: 2

Episode 1 | Eruption Episode West-Matthew
1949 (in or before) - Unknown Evidence from Observations: Reported

List of 4 Events for Episode 1 at West-Matthew

Start Date End Date Event Type Event Remarks
   - - - -    - - - - Explosion
   - - - -    - - - - Lava flow
   - - - -    - - - - Island
1949 (in or before)    - - - - VEI (Explosivity Index)

[ 1828 Jan ] Uncertain Eruption

Deformation History

There is no Deformation History data available for Matthew Island.

Emission History

There is no Emissions History data available for Matthew Island.

GVP Map Holdings

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. The maps database originated over 30 years ago, but was only recently updated and connected to our main database. We welcome users to tell us if they see incorrect information or other problems with the maps; please use the Contact GVP link at the bottom of the page to send us email.


Title: Fiji Region, Topo of the
Publisher: USGS-CCOP/SOPAC S. Pacific Project
Country: Fiji
Year: 1982
Map Type: Bathymetric
Scale: 1:1,800,000
Map of Fiji Region, Topo of the

Title: Vanuatu, SW Pacific, Oblique Map of Republic of
Publisher: US Geological Survey
Country: New Hebrides
Year: 1982
Series: OFR
Map Type: Physiographic
Scale: 1:2,000,000
Map of Vanuatu, SW Pacific, Oblique Map of Republic of

Title: New Caledonia, Vanuatu
Publisher: DMA & Ministry of Defence (HMSO), UK
Country: Vanuatu, N Caledonia
Year: 1982
Series: ONC
Map Type: Topographic
Scale: 1:1,000,000
Map of New Caledonia, Vanuatu
Smithsonian Sample Collections Database

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

External Sites