Tofua volcano, located in the western portion of the Tongan archipelago, is a complex stratovolcano with a prominent 5-km-wide caldera. The island is composed primarily of andesitic and basaltic materials, reflecting the ongoing subduction processes in the region. Tofua’s eruptive history includes both explosive and effusive activity, with evidence of pyroclastic flows and lava deposits. A large lake occupies the caldera floor, indicating the presence of a hydrothermal system.

Location: Haʻapai, Tonga
Coordinates: -19.752089, -175.068030
Volcano Type: Caldera


Tofua’s Location


Tofua’s Latest Status

2024: Currently Active – Minor Unrest. Possible lava lake (Satellite).


Tofua’s Eruptive History

Year Overview
1774 Smoke observed above the volcano by Captain Cook, suggesting at least low-level activity or steaming.
1792 Possible eruption, but records are less certain. Could indicate a similar level of activity as in 1774.
1854 Confirmed eruption. More substantial activity likely occurred to warrant this designation.
1885 Confirmed eruption.
1889 Minor eruptions, suggesting smaller-scale explosive events or lava flows.
1906 Formation of three new volcanic cones within the caldera, accompanied by lava flowing into the caldera lake. This indicates a significant eruptive episode.
1958-1959 A period of significant eruptions prompting the evacuation of the island. This likely involved multiple explosive events, substantial lava flows, and potential ashfall.
2004 Intermittent explosions observed in the crater, likely generating ash and volcanic projectiles.
2006-2009 Periods of lava incandescence in the Lofia crater, indicating the presence of flowing lava or a very hot lava lake.
2015 Intermittent thermal anomalies and sulfur dioxide emissions suggest ongoing activity. This could include low-level lava effusion, steaming, or small explosions within the crater.
2023 Expedition by Tonga Geological Services, droned a small lava pond within Tofua’s active crater.
2024 A series of high thermal anomalies were recorded within the Lofia cone.


Tofua Monitoring

Please refer to Tonga Geological Services for monitoring of this volcano.


Tofua Images