Vailulu'u Volcano - John Seach



14.215 S, 169.058 E
summit elevation -590 m
submarine volcano

Vailulu'u seamount was discovered on 18th October 1975. It is located 45 km east of Ta'u, the easternmost island of the Samoan chain. Vailulu'u is the youngest volcano in the Samoan volcanic chain. It contains an active hydrothermal system. Vailulu'u is the result of hotspot volcanism.

The volcano's base lies in 4800 m of water and summit is 590 m deep. The total volume of the volcano is 1050 cubic km. Vailulu'u volcano was named by Samoan school students in 2000.

The summit of Vailulu'u contains a 400 m deep, 2 km wide crater. The volcano contains rift zones to the east and west, which is parallel to the Samoan hotspot track. Background level of volcanic seismicity is about 4 earthquakes per day.

The hydrothermal system at Vailulu'u has been estimated to produce 300 kg of manganese per day, which is ten times the output of a black smoker.

2000 Earthquakes
During a year long seismic monitoring programme of Vailulu'u volcano, a background level of 4 earthquakes per day were measured. On 1st May 2000 a total of 40 earthquakes were recorded, including 20 in a 3 hour period.

1995 Earthquakes
An earthquake swarm occurred under the volcano in January 1995.

1973 Eruptions
Underwater explosions were recorded at Vailulu'u volcano on 10th July 1973 by ocean acoustic monitoring.

Vailulu'u Volcano Eruptions

July 1973