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Fire Mountains of the Islands

Volcano Names and Totals

Volcano names used in this book conform generally to those listed under the ‘Melanesia & Australia (05)’ category in the volcano database managed by the Global Volcanism Program of the Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C. Details from the database were published most recently by Siebert et al. (2010) who listed 64 Holocene volcanic centres for the area shown in the map below. The names of these volcanic centres were based initially on the work of Fisher (1957) and many of them have synonyms. Details on the volcanoes and their activity are updated from time to time on the Global Volcanism Program website.


The triangles represent volcanoes that have had known or inferred Holocene eruptions, or those with possible but uncertain Holocene eruptions, together with three active geothermal fields — which are not named on this map — in areas where there is no known Holocene volcanism. M-D is Makalaia-Dakataua.

Source: Adapted from maps by Simkin & Siebert (1994, p. 58) and Siebert et al. (2010, p. 75).

‘Cook’ in the Solomon Islands has been reported in the literature to be an active volcano and is listed by Siebert et al. (2010) who, however, correctly label it as ‘Not a Volcano’. Five other volcanoes, mainly classifying as ‘Uncertain’, are four possible submarine eruptive centres, as well as ‘Yomba’, a volcano whose existence is based on local legend. Furthermore, Musa River is a geothermally active area 40 kilometres south of Lamington volcano, but no Holocene eruptive centres have been found there (Fisher, 1957). The total number of Holocene volcanoes, therefore, reduces to 57 if these seven less-certain localities are excluded from the list of 64 volcanoes given by Seibert et al. (2010). Note, however, that many of these 57 volcanoes are only inferred to be Holocene, as historical evidence for eruptions or Holocene geochronological data are absent for them. Some of these may well be truly extinct.

Volcanoes referred to most commonly in this history are shown by name in the accompanying map. The first-named volcano in hyphenated double names, such as Pago–Witori, refers to a younger cone — such as ‘Pago’ — which is contained within the caldera of an older and second-named volcano, as in ‘Witori’. Other maps showing volcano localities in greater detail are found throughout the main text of this book.


Fisher, N.H., 1957. Catalogue of the Active Volcanoes of the World including Solfatara Field. Part 5, Melanesia. International Volcanological Association, Napoli.

Global Volcanism Program website:

Siebert, L., T. Simkin & P. Kimberly, 2010. Volcanoes of the World. 3rd edn. Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C., University of California, Berkeley.

Simkin, T. & L. Siebert, 1994. Volcanoes of the World. 2nd edn. Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C., Geoscience Press, Tucson.

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