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Steam and Ash Plume over Tinakula Island - NASA Earth Observatory.jpg
NASA picture of Tinakula spewing ashes
Highest point
Elevation 851 m (2,792 ft)
Coordinates 10°23′S 165°48′E / 10.383°S 165.800°E / -10.383; 165.800
Location Solomon Islands
Mountain type Stratovolcano
Volcanic arc/belt Bougainville & Solomon Is.
Last eruption 2008 to 2012

Tinakula is a conical stratovolcano which forms an island north of Nendo in Temotu Province, the Solomon Islands. It lies at the north end of the Santa Cruz Islands. It is about 3.5 kilometres (2 miles) wide and rises 851 metres (2,792 feet) above sea level, rising three to four kilometres (1.9 to 2.5 miles) from the sea floor. It erupts approximately every hour in a plume of ash and rocks. The volcano was first recorded in eruption in 1595 when Álvaro de Mendaña sailed past it.


The island is uninhabited. A previous population was eradicated when the volcano erupted around 1840 and pyroclastic flows swept all sides of the island. In 1951, polynesians from Nukapu and Nupani settled on the island, which reached a peak population of 130, before it had to be evacuated with the 1971 eruption. The village of Temateneni was on the southeast coast. In the late 1980s, two families (less than 10 people) from Nupani made another attempt at settlement.

There is a very brief reference in the Melbourne Age Newspaper of 10 November 1868 of the journey of the barque Tycoon, a ship carrying tea from Foo Chow Foo to Melbourne for the Joshua Brothers. This ship it states "... Passed Volcano Island, one of the South (Santa) Cruz Group, on the 17th of October (1868). It was then in active operation, vomiting forth immense volumes of fire and smoke."


The first recorded sighting by Europeans was by the Spanish expedition of Álvaro de Mendaña on 7 September 1595, when sailing towards Nendo Island where they stayed for several weeks. The volcano was described as lofty, with a well shaped peak, and a circumference of around 3 leagues.[1][2]

See also[edit]

References and sources[edit]

  1. ^ Sharp, Andrew The discovery of the Pacific Islands Oxford, 1960, pp.52.
  2. ^ Brand, Donald D. The Pacific Basin: A History of its Geographical Explorations The American Geographical Society, New York, 1967, p.136.

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