Volcano Photos

Mayor Island Volcano, New Zealand

 Mayor Island Volcano, New Zealand, Volcano photo

Mayor Island Volcano, New Zealand

Mayor Island, in the Bay of Plenty, is seen here from the west.

The low, 4-km-wide island, also known as Tuhua, is the summit of a broad, 15-km-wide lava shield.

A 3-km-wide caldera formed during 2 or 3 collapse events, the latest of which followed a major explosive eruption about 6300 years ago.

Mayor Island was recognized as an active volcano only within the past two decades.

Its latest eruption may have occurred only 500-1000 years ago.

The small 4-km-wide Mayor Island, also known as Tuhua, in the Bay of Plenty is the emergent portion of a 15-km-wide compound peralkaline lava shield constructed between about 120,000 and 35,000 years ago.

A 3-km-wide composite caldera was formed in two or three collapse events, the last of which took place about 6300 years ago, and was accompanied by a plinian eruption that produced tephra deposits up to 70 cm thick on mainland North Island.

Post-caldera eruptions generated a series of lava domes and flows emplaced from NNE-trending vents within the caldera that have filled it to depths of at least 180 m.

The latest eruption of Mayor Island has not been dated, but was considered by Houghton et al. (1992) to perhaps have occurred only 500-1000 years ago.

PHOTO SOURCE: Malcolm Buck, 1980, courtesy of the Global Volcanism Program, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, used with permission.

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