Thursday, December 22, 2011

Birth of an island

Kavachi is one of the most active submarine volcanoes in the world.
Geolocalization : 9°1' S / 157°57' E

From GlobalVolcanismProgram

Kavachi, one of the most active submarine volcanoes in the SW Pacific, occupies an isolated position in the Solomon Islands far from major aircraft and shipping lanes.

Kavachi, sometimes referred to as Rejo te Kvachi ("Kavachi's Oven"), is located south of Vangunu Island only about 30 km north of the site of subduction of the Indo-Australian plate beneath the Pacific plate.
The shallow submarine basaltic-to-andesitic volcano has produced ephemeral islands up to 1 km long many times since its first recorded eruption during 1939.
Residents of the nearby islands of Vanguna and Nggatokae (Gatokae) reported "fire on the water" prior to 1939, a possible reference to earlier submarine eruptions.
The roughly conical volcano rises from water depths of 1.1-1.2 km on the north and greater depths to the south.

Frequent shallow submarine and occasional subaerial eruptions produce phreatomagmatic explosions that eject steam, ash, and incandescent bombs above the sea surface.
On a number of occasions lava flows were observed on the surface of ephemeral islands.

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