Michael Volcano - John Seach


Saunders Island
South Sandwich Islands

57.78 S, 26.45 W
summit elevation 843 m

Saunders Island was discovered by Cook in 1775 and named it after Sir Charles Saunders, First Lord of the Admiralty. Mt Michael summit contains a 700-m wide crater with an unknown depth. Saunders Island is located in the middle of the South Sandwich group. The first recorded landing on Saunders Island was in 1908 by C.A. Larsen. In 1937 a group from the ship Willian Scoresby landed in the Cordelia Bay area. The crater contained a lava lake (1995-1998), the first to be recorded in the South Sandwich Islands. Satellite images detected repeated hotspots throughout 2001–2003 and 2019, in the summit area, indicating that the lava lake has persisted.

Michael volcano was called the most striking volcano in the South Sandwich Islands by Baker at al. 1964.

2019 Activity
Hotspots were visible on satellite images of the summit of Michael volcano in on 24 December 2019, indicating eruptive activity.

2012 Eruption
Satellite Images indicated activity at Michael volcano on 2nd and 28th October 2012.

2008 Eruption
A hotspot was detected on 25th October 2008 (UT), indicating a possible eruption at Michael volcano.

2006 Eruption
ASTER satellite image on 28th October showed a hotspot at the summit of Mt Michael volcano indicating a possible lava lake.

1997 Eruptions
Fourteen volcanic plumes were imaged at Mt Michael volcano by satellite in 1997.

1996 Eruptions
Thirty-nine volcanic plumes were imaged by satellite in 1996.

1995 Eruptions
The first recorded lava lake in the South Sandwich Islands was recorded by satellite imagery between between April and July 1995. Twenty volcanic plumes were imaged by satellite in 1995.

Michael Volcano Eruptions

2014-2019, 2000-2013, 1995-98, 1823?, 1819

- Gray et al. 2019, J. Volcanol. Geotherm. Res. Vol 379, 15 July 2019, p 60-71.
- Baker at al. 1964, Nature, 4946, Aug 15, 1964 p 691-693.