The 2019-2020 volcanic eruption of Late'iki (Metis Shoal), Tonga - Supplementary Files

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modified on 2022-03-17, 07:17
Drone footage of the remains of the temporary volcanic island built at the summit of Late'iki/Metis Shoal volcano, Tonga. Footage was taken on 3 December 2019, almost 2 months after the eruption commenced on October 14. A new island was constructed by the eruption that was initially ~21,000 square metres in area, but had since reduced to a small, wave-swept mound on 3 December with scattered metre-sized lava blocks on the upper surface. By 3 January, 2020 the island had disappeared and the volcano summit was again submerged.

The drone footage in File DJI_0393 begins with a view to the north with the island of Late visible in the distance in the opening frames. An extensive hydrothermal plume is visible in the water extending downcurrent from the island and sulfur dioxide was smelt at the time of filming. Waves from a fair weather swell continually sweep across the top and remains of the island. Lava blocks are concentrated at the northern end of the island. A shallow area and ridge of extensive lava blocks is visible in the water extending to the north and northeast from the island at the 1.5 minute mark. The final frames of the video are now viewed to the south and the islands of Tofua and Kao are visible in the distance.

Drone footage in File DJI_0438 is a closeup of the island. The initial views are to the north with the island of Late in the distance. A turtle is visible at the 50s mark swimming to the right of the island in the hydrothermal plume coloured waters. As the waves sweep over the island, some movement of the lava blocks can be seen. The finely fragmented lava material making up the island can be seen at the 1.40-1.45 minute mark as well as the vesicular nature of the lava blocks.

Drone footage acquired and kindly provided by Darren Rice
Matafonua Lodge, Faleloa, Ha'apai' Kingdom of Tonga


NERC Urgency Grant NE/T010916/1