The geography of Indonesia is dominated by volcanoes that are formed due to subduction zones between the Eurasian plate and the Indo-Australian plate. Some of the volcanoes are notable for their eruptions, for instance, Krakatau for its global effects in 1883, Lake Toba for its supervolcanic eruption estimated to have occurred 74,000 Before Present which was responsible for six years of volcanic winter, and Mount Tambora for the most violent eruption in recorded history in 1815.
Emperor of China is a submarine volcano in the western part of the Banda Sea, Indonesia. The volcano has a shield shape and rises 1,500 meters above the seabed. Emperor of China volcano is in one chain with Nieuwerkerk volcano, known scientifically as the Emperor of China - Nieuwkerk (NEC) ridge, the depth of which is ranging from 3,100 - 2,700 meters.
The NEC ridge is lying on the Damar Basin, one of the two sea basins in the south of Banda Sea. The sea, which is bounded by East Sunda and Banda volcanic arcs, is located within the area of three major plates, namely Eurasian, Pacific and Indo-Australian plates, all of which have been actively converging since Mesozoic times. The 1–2 km thick of Pliocene-Quarternary sedimentary Damar Basin is relatively flat bottoms.
The submarine volcanoes of the Emperor of China and Nieuwerkerk are located at both ends of the NEC ridge, and they were active. Based on the geological and geochemical study, Emperor of China, Nieuwekerk, another ridge in the Banda Sea called Lucipara, and the Wetar segment were a single volcanic arc around 8 - 7 Ma ago. The volcanic activity was related to the subduction of the Indian oceanic lithosphere beneath the Australia continental block.
From a survey conducted in 1979, both Emperor of China and Nieuwerkerk have been defined as extinct based on their structural settings and their age, which is stated that the volcanic activity was estimated stopped after 7 Ma ago. The end of magmatic activity in the NEC ridge at 3 Ma is thought of as the result from the collision of Timor and the Wetar segment of the Sunda Arc.