Report on Epi (Vanuatu) — 22 February-28 February 2023
Smithsonian Institution / US Geological Survey
Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 22 February-28 February 2023
Managing Editor: Sally Sennert.
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2023. Report on Epi (Vanuatu) (Sennert, S, ed.). Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 22 February-28 February 2023. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
16.68°S, 168.37°E; summit elev. 833 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
On 23 February the Vanuatu Meteorology and Geo-Hazards Department (VMGD) reported that minor unrest continued at Epi. Seismicity was sustained though there was only minor manifestation at the water’s surface; steaming at the surface lasting only a few hours at most was occasionally observed. The Alert Level remained at 1 (on a scale of 0-5) and the public was warned to stay outside of the Danger Zone, defined as a 2-km radius around the active vent.
Geological Summary. A large caldera, with submarine post-caldera cones active in historical time, lies off the eastern coast of Epi Island. Epi Island itself, located slightly west of the main New Hebrides volcanic arc, largely consists of two Quaternary volcanoes, Mount Allombei on the west and Pomare (Tavani Kutali) on the east. Tavani Ruro, which forms an elongated eastern extension of Epi Island across a narrow isthmus, is related to Kuwae caldera to the east. Pomare volcano is the highest point on the island and has three well-preserved subsidiary cones to the east with youthful summit craters. Pomare volcano is truncated on its eastern side by the largely submarine East Epi caldera, which has been the source of all historical eruptions. Three small submarine basaltic and dacitic cones, known as Epi A, Epi B, and Epi C, are located along the northern rim of the breached caldera. Ephemeral islands were formed during eruptions in 1920 and 1953, and the summit of the shallowest cone, Epi B, was at 34 m below sea level at the time of a 2001 survey.