Mayor Island is a Holocene pantelleritic volcano showing a wide range of dispersive power and eruptive intensity despite a very limited range in magma composition of only 2% SiO2. The primary controls on this range appear to have been the magmatic gas content on eruption and a varying involvement of basaltic magma, rather than major-element chemistry of the rhyolites. The ca. 130 ka subaerial history of the volcano contains portions of three geochemical cycles with abrupt changes in trace-element chemistry following episodes of caldera collapse. The uniform major-element chemistry of the magma may relate to a fine balance between rates of eruption and supply and the higher density of the more evolved (Ferich) magmas which could be tapped only after caldera-forming events had removed significant volumes of less evolved but lighter magma. ?? 1992.