Kavachi erupting on May 14, 2000
|Elevation||−20 m (−66 ft)|
|Volcanic arc/belt||Bougainville & Solomon Is.|
|Last eruption||January 2014|
Kavachi is one of the most active submarine volcanoes in the south-west Pacific Ocean. Located south of Vangunu Island in the Solomon Islands, it is named after a sea god of the New Georgia Group islanders, and is also referred to locally as Rejo te Kavachi ("Kavachi's oven’). The volcano has become emergent and then been eroded back into the sea at least eight times since its first recorded eruption in 1939.
In May 2000, an international research team aboard the CSIRO research vessel FRANKLIN fixed the position of the volcano at 8° 59.65'S, 157° 58.23'E. At that time the vent of the volcano was below sea level, but frequent eruptions ejected molten lava up to 70m above sea level, and sulfurous steam plumes up to 500m. The team mapped a roughly conical feature rising from 1,100 m water depth, with the volcano having a basal diameter of about 8 km.
When the volcano erupted in 2003, a 15-meter-high island formed above the surface, but it disappeared soon after. Additional eruptive activity was observed and reported in March 2004 and April 2007.
Recently, marine wildlife has been found living inside Kavachi including two species of sharks and a sixgill stingray. Scientists are baffled and excited about this phenomenon.
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- Dunkley, P.M., 1983. Volcanism and the evolution of the ensimatic Solomon Islands Arc, in Shimozuro, D. And Yokoyama, I.,(eds.), Arc Volcanism: Physics and Tectonics. Tokyo, Terrapub, 225-241.
- Johnson, R.W. and Tuni, D. 1987. Kavachi, an active forearc volcano in the western Solomon Islands: Reported eruptions between 1950 and 1982, in B. Taylor and N.F. Exon, (eds.), 1987, Marine Geology, Geophysics, and Geochemistry of the Woodlark Basin-Solomon Islands, Circum-Pacific Council for Energy and Mineral Resources Earth Science Series, v. 7: Houston, Texas, Circum-Pacific Council for Energy and Mineral Resources.
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