Report on Yasur (Vanuatu) — 11 May-17 May 2011

Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 11 May-17 May 2011
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2011. Report on Yasur (Vanuatu). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 11 May-17 May 2011. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

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Yasur

Vanuatu

19.53°S, 169.442°E; summit elev. 361 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


On 12 May, the Vanuatu Geohazards Observatory reported that, based on information collected by the Vanuatu Meteorology and Geohazards Department, satellite imagery showed strong degassing from Yasur during the previous week. Residents living close to the volcano reported persistent strong explosions that were heard and felt on 12 May. The Vanuatu Volcano Alert Level (VVAL) remained at 2 (on a scale of 0-4).

Geologic Background. Yasur, the best-known and most frequently visited of the Vanuatu volcanoes, has been in more-or-less continuous strombolian and vulcanian activity since Captain Cook observed ash eruptions in 1774. This style of activity may have continued for the past 800 years. Located at the SE tip of Tanna Island, this mostly unvegetated pyroclastic cone has a nearly circular, 400-m-wide summit crater. Yasur is largely contained within the small Yenkahe caldera and is the youngest of a group of Holocene volcanic centers constructed over the down-dropped NE flank of the Pleistocene Tukosmeru volcano. The Yenkahe horst is located within the Siwi ring fracture, a 4-km-wide, horseshoe-shaped caldera associated with eruption of the andesitic Siwi pyroclastic sequence. Active tectonism along the Yenkahe horst accompanying eruptions has raised Port Resolution harbor more than 20 m during the past century.

Source: Vanuatu Geohazards Observatory