Young Volcano

Friday - 16/10/2020 13:11
Little Island has several craters/cones, possibly even some of the craters are now submerged in the sea. Among them, Hon Dun Volcano, along with a smaller volcanic cone located just about 100 meters northeast of the volcano, is the most visible. 

Hon Dun Volcano is not very high, only about 20-25 meters, abd 200 – 250 meters in diameter, from the bottom of the crater to sea level. It is being eroded by the sea, exposing both of its inner and outer slopes.

Compared to other volcanoes on the Island, Hon Dun has a few different features. It does not spray ash and dust like Water or Fire Volcano, nor create pebbles like Wood Volcano. At the eastern end, close to the shore, the outer slope shows a stack of poorly-defined layers of variably welded spatters. Perhaps the original lava was relatively rich in gas but not enough to cause a strong explosion. The hot clots and blobs were thrown up into the air and fell down to form the mound. Among them were a number of volcanic bombs, clearly distinguishable by their glass rim. After falling, the temperature was still high enough for these spatters and bombs to continue to be partially liquid and to weld with each other. There might have been a later eruption episode that destroyed a portion of the crater and poured out some lava to the coast, possibly all the way to the lava bridge.

A special feature of Hon Dun is that the spatters are reddish-brown, indicating the whole process of exploding, falling, cooling, welding together and flowing was in contact with the air, which oxidized iron-containing minerals to produce this colour. This also implies that the volcano was active when there was no sea around, i.e. perhaps around 3,000-4,000 years ago.
 
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