HOME REEF VOLCANO
A new volcanic island emerged in early to mid-August 2006 in the southwestern Pacific, the result of an eruption of the normally-underwater Home Reef Volcano. Located between the Metis Shoal and Late Island volcanoes, the Home Reef Volcano is part of the Tofua Volcanic Arc in the central Tonga Islands (see NASA satellite photos of new island at Home Reef Volcano).
The eruption resulted in the formation of extensive floating rafts of dacite pumice (see example photos here) (more photos & info. here). Home Reef pumice varies from small lapilli-sized pieces to boulder-sized chunks.
Dacite pumice (4.1 x 3.4 cm) from August 2006 eruption of Home Reef Volcano.
Dacite pumice (4.6 cm across) from August 2006 eruption of Home Reef Volcano.
Dacite pumice (8.4 x 8.3 cm) from August 2006 eruption of Home Reef Volcano.
The pumice material shown above washed ashore in the northern Fiji Islands in mid-September 2006, after having floated ~220 miles across the ocean from the Home Reef Volcano. Encrusting barnacles consistent with 20-30 days growth are not uncommon on the larger pieces from this pumice raft (see above photo - the barnacles are the white structures near the top). This Home Reef dacite pumice is light to medium gray in color, with common black phenocrysts of disrupted hornblende amphibole.
Collection locality: beach near Savusavu, southeastern shores of Vanua Levu island, northern Fiji Islands, Melanesia, southwestern Pacific Ocean.