Kavachi is one of the most active submarine volcanoes in the south-west Pacific Ocean.[1] Located south of Vangunu Island in the Solomon Islands, it is named after a sea god of the New Georgia Group islanders, and is also referred to locally as Rejo te Kavachi ("Kavachi's oven"). The volcano has become emergent and then been eroded back into the sea at least eight times since its first recorded eruption in 1939.[2]

May 14 Kavachi eruption.jpg
Kavachi erupting on May 14, 2000
Summit depth20 m (66 ft)
LocationSolomon Islands
Coordinates08°59′37″S 157°58′21″E / 8.99361°S 157.97250°E / -8.99361; 157.97250Coordinates: 08°59′37″S 157°58′21″E / 8.99361°S 157.97250°E / -8.99361; 157.97250
TypeSubmarine volcano
Last eruption2022
Kavachi is an active submarine volcano that sits roughly 25m below the surface of the ocean. Located approximately 50 NM from Nggatokae island, Kavachi can sometimes form an island of fresh earth that typically is washed away by waves. Here, the volcano dramatically erupts.


In May 2000, an international research team aboard the CSIRO research vessel FRANKLIN fixed the position of the volcano at 8° 59.65'S, 157° 58.23'E. At that time the vent of the volcano was below sea level, but frequent eruptions ejected molten lava up to 70 m (230 ft) above sea level, and sulfurous steam plumes up to 500 m (1,600 ft). The team mapped a roughly conical feature rising from 1,100 m (3,600 ft) water depth, with the volcano having a basal diameter of about 8 km (5.0 mi).[3][4]


When the volcano erupted in 2003, a 15 m-high (49 ft) island formed above the surface, but it disappeared soon after. Additional eruptive activity was observed and reported in March 2004 and April 2007.[5][6] More recent volcanic activity can be inferred from observations of discoloured water around the volcano, in 2020 and January 2021.[1]

Marine lifeEdit

In 2015, marine wildlife was found living inside Kavachi's crater, including the scalloped hammerhead, the silky shark, and the sixgill stingray.[7] It has subsequently been given the nickname "Sharkcano" by various media outlets.[8][9][10]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "Kavachi". Global Volcanism Program. Smithsonian Institution. Retrieved 2010-02-26.
  2. ^ "Kavachi". Global Volcanism Program. Smithsonian Institution.
  3. ^ "Fiery birth of new Pacific Island". Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (via Way Back Machine). 24 May 2000. Archived from the original on 17 February 2012.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  4. ^ "Volcano Island Born". All Things Considered. US National Public Radio. 26 May 2000. Archived from the original on 27 May 2022. Retrieved 2 April 2018.
  5. ^ "Kavachi". Global Volcanism Program. Smithsonian Institution.
  6. ^ "Kavachi Submarine Volcano". Corey Howell, The Wilderness Lodge. Archived from the original on 2001-12-11. Retrieved 2007-08-19.
  7. ^ Sharks Discovered Inside Underwater Volcano (video). National Geographic. 9 July 2015. Archived from the original on 2021-12-21 – via YouTube.
  8. ^ Amanda Kooser. "'Sharkano': NASA Spots Eruption of Underwater Volcano Where Sharks Live". CNET. Archived from the original on 2022-05-26. Retrieved 2022-05-25.
  9. ^ "NASA captures eruption of 'Sharkcano'". CNN. 2022-05-24. Archived from the original on 2022-05-25. Retrieved 2022-05-25.
  10. ^ "Watch out for the Sharkcano! What happens when an underwater volcano erupts?". The Guardian. 2022-05-23. Archived from the original on 2022-05-24. Retrieved 2022-05-25.

Further readingEdit

  • Baker, E.T., Massoth, G.J., de Ronde, C.E.J., Lupton, J.E., Lebon, G., and McInnes, B.I.A. 2002. Observations and sampling of an ongoing subsurface eruption of Kavachi volcano, Solomon Islands, May 2000, Geology, 30 (11), 975–978. (geology.geoscienceworld.org/cgi/reprint/30/11/975.pdf)
  • Dunkley, P.M., 1983. Volcanism and the evolution of the ensimatic Solomon Islands Arc, in Shimozuro, D. And Yokoyama, I.,(eds.), Arc Volcanism: Physics and Tectonics. Tokyo, Terrapub, 225–241.
  • Johnson, R.W. and Tuni, D. 1987. Kavachi, an active forearc volcano in the western Solomon Islands: Reported eruptions between 1950 and 1982, in B. Taylor and N.F. Exon, (eds.), 1987, Marine Geology, Geophysics, and Geochemistry of the Woodlark Basin-Solomon Islands, Circum-Pacific Council for Energy and Mineral Resources Earth Science Series, v. 7: Houston, Texas, Circum-Pacific Council for Energy and Mineral Resources.

External linksEdit