Report on Ambae (Vanuatu) — 29 August-4 September 2018
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 29 August-4 September 2018
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2018. Report on Ambae (Vanuatu). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 29 August-4 September 2018. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
15.389°S, 167.835°E; summit elev. 1496 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
The Vanuatu Meteorology and Geo-hazards Department reported that at 2015 on 1 September explosions at Ambae’s Lake Voui generated ash plumes that rose 4-11 km above the crater rim. According to the Wellington VAAC the ash plumes were visible in satellite images rising as high as 10.7 km (35,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifting E; the ash quickly dissipated. Moderate ashfall was likely produced in areas NE and E. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a scale of 0-5).
Geologic Background. The island of Ambae, also known as Aoba, is a massive 2500 km3 basaltic shield that is the most voluminous volcano of the New Hebrides archipelago. A pronounced NE-SW-trending rift zone dotted with scoria cones gives the 16 x 38 km island an elongated form. A broad pyroclastic cone containing three crater lakes (Manaro Ngoru, Voui, and Manaro Lakua) is located at the summit within the youngest of at least two nested calderas, the largest of which is 6 km in diameter. That large central edifice is also called Manaro Voui or Lombenben volcano. Post-caldera explosive eruptions formed the summit craters about 360 years ago. A tuff cone was constructed within Lake Voui (or Vui) about 60 years later. The latest known flank eruption, about 300 years ago, destroyed the population of the Nduindui area near the western coast.