Santa Maria Island is the top of Gaua, a stratovolcano. Gaua rises about 9,800 feet (3,000 m) from the sea floor. Steaming Hill Lake, a crescent-shaped crater lake, is just below Mt. Gharat, a secondary cone and summit of the volcano. Solfataras are on the south side of the volcano and hot springs are on the north slope. Map from Fisher (1957) after J.R. Baker. Gaua has had at least 13 eruptions from Mt. Gharat since 1963. The most recent eruption was in 1982 and lasted less than one day. Most of the historic eruptions have lasted only 1-2 days with the 1963 and 1973-1974 eruptions lasting a few months. Each of these eruptions was small with VEI of about 2 except for the 1965 eruption which had VEI=3.


Additional Sources of Information:

Department of Geology, Mines and Water Resources, Vanuatu. 
ORSTOM assists with the monitoring of the active volcanoes in Vanuatu.

Crawford, A.J., Greene, H.G., and Exon, N.F., 1988, Geology, petrology, and geochemistry of submarine volcanoes around Epi Island, New Hebrides island arc in Greene, H.G., and Wong, F.L., eds., Geology and Offshore Resources of Pacific Island Arcs-Vanuatu Region, Circum-Pacific Council Energy Min. Resource Earth Sci. Ser., 8: p. 301-307.

Colley, H., and Warden, A.J., 1974, Petrology of the New Hebrides: Geological Society of America Bulletin, v. 85, p. 1635-1646.

Fisher, N.H., 1957, Part V, Melanesia: Catalogue of the active volcanoes of the world, International Association of Volcanology, Rome, Italy, 105 p.

Kibblewhite, A.C., 1966, The acoustic detection and location of an underwater volcano [unnamed SW pacific volcano]: New Zealand Journal of Science, v. 9, p. 178-199.

McCall, G.J.H., LeMaitre, R.W., Malahoff, A., Robinson, G.P., and Stephenson, P.J., 1970, The geology and geophysics of the Ambrym Caldera, New Hebrides: Bulletin Volcanology, v. 34, p. 681-696.

Monzier, M., Robin, C., Eissen, J-P, and Cotton, J., 1997, Geochemistry vs. Seismo-tectonics along the New hebrides centtal chain (Southwest Pacific): Jour. Of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, v. 78, p. 1-29.

Monzier, M., Robin, C., and Eissen, J-P, 1993, Kuwae (1425 A.D.): the forgotten caldera: Jour. Of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, v. 59, p. 207-218.

Robin, C., Eissen, J-P, and Monzier, M., 1993, Giant tuff cone and 12-km-wide associated caldera at Ambrym volcano (Vanuatu, New Hebrides arc): Jour. Of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, v. 55, p. 225-238.

Robin, C., Monzier, M., and Eissen, J-P, 1994, Formation of the mid-fifteenth century Kuwae caldera (Vanuatu) by initial hydroclastic and subsequent ignimbritic eruption: Bulletin Volcanology, v. 56, p. 170-183.

Simkin, T., and Siebert, L., 1994, Volcanoes of the World: Geoscience Press, Tucson, Arizona, 349 p.

Warden, A.J., 1967, The 1963-1965 eruption of Lopevi volcano (New Hebrides): Bulletin Volcanology, v. 30, p. 277-318.

Warden, A.J., 1970, Evolution of Aoba Caldera volcano, New Hebrides: Bulletin Volcanology, v. 34, p. 107-140.

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Santa Maria Island