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Mehetia

Mehetia

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Encyclopedia
Mehetia or Meetia is a volcanic
Volcano
2. Bedrock3. Conduit 4. Base5. Sill6. Dike7. Layers of ash emitted by the volcano8. Flank| 9. Layers of lava emitted by the volcano10. Throat11. Parasitic cone12. Lava flow13. Vent14. Crater15...

 island in the Windward Islands
Windward Islands (Society Islands)
The Windward Islands are the eastern group of the Society Islands in French Polynesia, an overseas collectivity of France in the southern Pacific Ocean.-Geography:...

, in the east of the Society Islands
Society Islands
The Society Islands are a group of islands in the South Pacific Ocean. They are politically part of French Polynesia. The archipelago is generally believed to have been named by Captain James Cook in honor of the Royal Society, the sponsor of the first British scientific survey of the islands;...

 in French Polynesia
French Polynesia
French Polynesia is an overseas country of the French Republic . It is made up of several groups of Polynesian islands, the most famous island being Tahiti in the Society Islands group, which is also the most populous island and the seat of the capital of the territory...

. This island is a very young active stratovolcano
Stratovolcano
A stratovolcano, also known as a composite volcano, is a tall, conical volcano built up by many layers of hardened lava, tephra, pumice, and volcanic ash. Unlike shield volcanoes, stratovolcanoes are characterized by a steep profile and periodic, explosive eruptions...

 110 kilometres (68.4 mi) east of Taiarapu Peninsula of Tahiti
Tahiti
Tahiti is the largest island in the Windward group of French Polynesia, located in the archipelago of the Society Islands in the southern Pacific Ocean. It is the economic, cultural and political centre of French Polynesia. The island was formed from volcanic activity and is high and mountainous...

. It belongs to the Teahitia
Teahitia
Teahitia is a submarine volcano, located northeast of the southeast tip of Tahiti of the Society Islands in the Pacific Ocean, with its peak 1600 meters below the water surface. It belongs to the Teahitia-Mehetia hotspot....

-Mehetia hotspot
Hotspot (geology)
The places known as hotspots or hot spots in geology are volcanic regions thought to be fed by underlying mantle that is anomalously hot compared with the mantle elsewhere. They may be on, near to, or far from tectonic plate boundaries. There are two hypotheses to explain them...

.

The island has an area of 2.3 square kilometre (0.888034964762831 sq mi) and its highest point is 435 metres (1,427 ft). Mehetia's well-defined volcanic crater
Volcanic crater
A volcanic crater is a circular depression in the ground caused by volcanic activity. It is typically a basin, circular in form within which occurs a vent from which magma erupts as gases, lava, and ejecta. A crater can be of large dimensions, and sometimes of great depth...

 contains a very active hot point. In 1981 the island was the centre of earthquakes.

History


Mehetia was sighted by Spanish navigator Domingo de Boenechea on November 6, 1772 on ship Aguila. He named this island "San Cristóbal". The first European to sight it was Samuel Wallis
Samuel Wallis
Samuel Wallis was a Cornish navigator who circumnavigated the world.Wallis was born near Camelford, Cornwall. In 1766 he was given the command of HMS Dolphin to circumnavigate the world, accompanied by the Swallow under the command of Philip Carteret...

 in HMS Dolphin 1767.

Administration


Mehetia is administratively part of the commune (municipality) of Taiarapu-Est
Taiarapu-Est
Taiarapu-Est is a commune of French Polynesia, an overseas territory of France in the Pacific Ocean. The commune of Taiarapu-Est is located on the island of Tahiti, in the administrative subdivision of the Windward Islands, themselves part of the Society Islands.The commune extends over a part of...

 and of its easternmost commune associée Tautira. The island is uninhabited and doesn't have much vegetation but has a small coral reef on the underwater slopes.

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