Find U.S. Volcano
Taʻū Island is located at the east end of the Samoan Islands, in the United States Territory of American Samoa. Volcanic activity in American Samoa is within the area of responsibility of the U.S. Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, based in Hilo on the Island of Hawai‘i.
Location: American Samoa
Latitude: 14.23° S
Longitude: 159.45° W
Elevation: 931 (m) 3,054 (f)
Volcano type: Shield
Most recent eruption: unknown
Nearby towns: Taʻū village, Fitiuta
Threat Potential: Low*
*based on the National Volcano Early Warning System
Taʻū Island is the top of a shield volcano (sometimes called Lata), most of which is under water. The volcano has a summit caldera, and the highest elevation of the island is more than 3,000 feet (900 meters). Most of the southern part of the caldera has been removed by landslides.
Two rift zones are present on Taʻū, one to the northeast and one to the northwest. Dotting the sides of Taʻū island are at least a dozen circular scoria/cinder cones. The lower slopes of Taʻū island feature at least three tuff cone features.
See the Geology and History page for more information on Ta‘ū Island, as well as Vailulu‘u seamount and other nearby submarine vents in American Samoa.
July - September 2022 Earthquake Activity
The USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) responded to earthquake activity in the Manuʻa island group of American Samoa during July - September 2022. Residents reported that earthquakes began in late July 2022. Seismometers (earthquake-detecting devices) installed in American Samoa in response to the earthquakes suggest that the earthquakes occurred closer to Taʻū island than the nearby submarine volcano, Vailuluʻu.
Experts at the Pago Pago National Weather Service Office (NWS), USGS Volcano Hazards Program, NOAA Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, NOAA-IOC International Tsunami Information Center, and USGS National Earthquake Information Center worked together with the American Samoa EOC during this response.
To receive updates on volcanoes in American Samoa, subscribe to the USGS Volcano Notification Service (VNS). This free service sends notices via email about volcanic activity in the US.
To receive Volcano Activity Notices (VANs), subscribe to the VNS at https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/vns2/. For emails about American Samoa unrest, select Ofu-Olosega, Ta’u Island, and Tutuila Island from the list of available volcanoes. Alternatively, select “Hawaiian Volcano Observatory - Add All Volcanoes” from the list of available volcano observatories to receive notices about volcanoes in Hawaii and American Samoa.
For more information about the different types of VNS notifications, please see: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/vhp/notifications.html
If you have questions, please contact: askHVO@usgs.gov