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Fayal

Photo of this volcano
  • Portugal
  • Atlantic Ocean
  • Stratovolcano
  • 1958 CE
  • Country
  • Volcanic Region
  • Primary Volcano Type
  • Last Known Eruption
  • 38.576°N
  • 28.713°W

  • 1041 m
    3415 ft

  • 382010
  • Latitude
  • Longitude

  • Summit
    Elevation

  • Volcano
    Number

The Global Volcanism Program has no activity reports for Fayal.

The Global Volcanism Program has no Weekly Reports available for Fayal.

The Global Volcanism Program has no Bulletin Reports available for Fayal.

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 2 Holocene eruptive periods.

Start Date Stop Date Eruption Certainty VEI Evidence Activity Area or Unit
1957 Sep 27 1958 Oct 24 Confirmed 2 Historical Observations West flank (Capelinhos) and summit
1672 Apr 24 1673 Feb 28 Confirmed 2 Historical Observations West flank
Deformation History

There is data available for 1 deformation periods. Expand each entry for additional details.


Deformation during 1998 Jul - 1998 Jul [Subsidence; Observed by InSAR]

Start Date: 1998 Jul Stop Date: 1998 Jul Direction: Subsidence Method: InSAR
Magnitude: 3.000 cm Spatial Extent: Unknown Latitude: Unknown Longitude: Unknown

Remarks: Deformation due to Mw 6.1 Azores earthquake on 9 July 1998

Figure (see Caption)

Observed differential co-seismic interferograms. One colour fringe represents 28.3 mm of range change. Panels (a) through ( f ): track 52, frame 2835; (a): 920609?980925; (b): 930316?980925; (c): 951109?980925; (d ): 951110?980925; (e): 951214?980925, ( f ): 951215?980925. Panels (g) and (h): track 281, frame 2835; (g): 951230?981011, (h): 951231? 981011.

From: Catita et al. 2005.


Reference List: Catita et al. 2005.

Full References:

Catita, C., Feigl, K. L., Catalão, J., Miranda, J. M., & Victor, L. M., 2005. InSAR time series analysis of the 9 July 1998 Azores earthquake. International Journal of Remote Sensing, 26(13), 2715-2729.

Emission History

There is no Emissions History data available for Fayal.

Photo Gallery

Accumulated thin layers of ashfall deposits reach nearly to the roofline at both gable ends of a house on the western tip of Fayal Island. Repetitive, long-term ashfall during a 1957-58 eruption built an offshore cinder cone that added 1 km to the island's western peninsula.

Copyrighted photo by Katia and Maurice Krafft, 1980.
A submarine eruption that began off the western coast of Fayal Island in 1957 produced heavy ashfall that buried houses, such as the one in the foreground. The new submarine vent built a pyroclastic cone (upper left) that was eventually connected to the mainland. Extensive ashfall partially buried the Capelinhos lighthouse (upper right), which had been located on the western shoreline of Fayal Island.

Copyrighted photo by Katia and Maurice Krafft, 1980.
A pyroclastic cone initially built by submarine eruptions during 1957-58 now forms a peninsula at the western tip of Fayal Island. The top of the lighthouse, which was located along the former shoreline, is visible at the lower left-center of the photo. Heavy ashfall from the eruption covered several houses and partially buried the lighthouse. Within the first two weeks of the eruption, an 800-m-wide island was built up to 100 m above sea level.

Copyrighted photo by Katia and Maurice Krafft, 1980.
The new pyroclastic cone formed during the 1957-58 Capelinhos eruption has been extensively eroded by the sea, exposing this cross-section of the cone. The thick stack of tephra layers formed by fallout of pyroclastic material during individual eruptive pulses illustrates the process by which pyroclastic cones grow. Initial eruptions were submarine, but these tephra layers were formed by subaerial eruptions after the vent rose above sea level.

Copyrighted photo by Katia and Maurice Krafft, 1980.
A column of ash and steam rises above a new submarine vent off the western coast of Fayal Island in early October 1957. Horizontally traveling base surges form a ring at the base of the eruption column. Explosive eruptions began on September 27 and formed a small island that eventually was joined to the main island, partially burying the Capelinhos lighthouse, which is visible on the center shoreline (bottom). Lava effusion was continuous for the last five months of the 13-month eruption.

Photo by U.S. Air Force, 1957 (published in Green and Short, 1971).
Fayal volcano is capped by a 2-km-wide, 400-m-deep summit caldera, seen here from its southern rim. A small pyroclastic cone (center) and a dark lake (right) can be seen on the floor of the caldera. The caldera was formed incrementally, beginning with a large eruption about 1,000 years ago. Thick airfall-pumice and pyroclastic-flow deposits related to this eruption cover the island.

Photo by Rick Wunderman, 1997 (Smithsonian Institution).
The gentle slope along the right horizon is covered by lava flows that formed during the 1672-73 eruption. This eruption occurred along a WNW-ESE-trending ridge forming a wedge-shaped peninsula at the western tip of the island. Cabeço Verde (center), seen here from the SE, is one of a chain of pyroclastic cones that were constructed along the axis of the peninsula during the eruption. The most recent eruption at Fayal started in 1957 and occurred at the end of this peninsula.

Photo by Rick Wunderman, 1997 (Smithsonian Institution).
The eroded pyroclastic cone at the left, now forming the western tip of Fayal Island, was constructed during the 1957-58 Capelinhos eruption. Submarine eruptions formed an island that was later joined to the mainland, creating a 1-km-wide peninsula. Wave erosion soon truncated the sides of the new cone, forming the steep south-facing cliffs seen here. Beach erosion in the foreground exposes light-colored ashfall deposits from the eruption.

Photo by Rick Wunderman, 1997 (Smithsonian Institution).
Cabeço Verde (left center) and Cabeço do Canto (center) are two pyroclastic cones along a linear chain of volcanoes that form the western peninsula of Fayal Island. Lava flows from these cones flowed into the sea on the northern and southern coasts during the 1672-73 eruption.

Photo by Rick Wunderman, 1997 (Smithsonian Institution).
The Monte da Guia tuff cone forms a backdrop to the harbor of Horta, the largest town on the island of Fayal. The cone was formed by phreatomagmatic eruptions just off the SE tip of the island and is now connected to Fayal by a low narrow peninsula. It is one of a cluster of cones on the lower SE flank. These cones and an associated basaltic lava field form the late Pleistocene Almoxarife Formation.

Photo by Rick Wunderman, 1997 (Smithsonian Institution).
The crater of Monte da Guia tuff cone at the SE tip of Fayal Island has been breached by the sea, forming a circular bay measuring about 500 m long. This view looks out to sea from the NW rim of the cone, which was formed by phreatomagmatic eruptions produced when magma encountered water along the coast. A small boat used by divers provides scale off the headland at left center.

Photo by Rick Wunderman, 1997 (Smithsonian Institution).
The steep vegetated northwest wall of the 2-km-wide summit caldera of Fayal volcano rises about 400 m above the caldera floor. A small pyroclastic cone is visible at the lower right. It is thought that this caldera formed in stages, beginning with a large explosive eruption about 1,000 years ago.

Photo by Rick Wunderman, 1997 (Smithsonian Institution).
Pyroclastic surge, or base surge deposits from the 1957 phreatomagmatic Capelinhos eruption lap up against a lighthouse near the western coast of Fayal Island in the Azores. Pyroclastic surges produced by magma-water interaction during the Surtseyan eruption nearly buried the lower floor of the lighthouse building. The initially submarine eruption began off the western tip of Fayal, forming a small island that was eventually joined to the main island.

Photo by R.V. Fisher, 1979 (University of California Santa Barbara).
GVP Map Holdings

The Global Volcanism Program has no maps available for Fayal.

Smithsonian Sample Collections Database

The following 8 samples associated with this volcano can be found in the Smithsonian's NMNH Department of Mineral Sciences collections, and may be availble for research (contact the Rock and Ore Collections Manager). Catalog number links will open a window with more information.

Catalog Number Sample Description Lava Source Collection Date
NMNH 109363 Plagioclase Basalt -- --
NMNH 116691-13 Volcanic Bomb -- 1 Aug 1980
NMNH 116691-14 Volcanic Bomb -- 1 Aug 1980
NMNH 116691-16 Volcanic Bomb -- 1 Aug 1980
NMNH 117254-112 Lava -- --
NMNH 72951 Basalt -- --
NMNH 72952-1 Basalt -- --
NMNH 72952-2 Basalt -- --
External Sites