Report on Lopevi (Vanuatu) — 4 June-10 June 2003
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 4 June-10 June 2003
Managing Editor: Gari Mayberry
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2003. Report on Lopevi (Vanuatu). In: Mayberry, G (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 4 June-10 June 2003. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
16.507°S, 168.346°E; summit elev. 1413 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
Based on information from an airport in Vanuatu, the Wellington VAAC reported that a thick ash cloud emitted from Lopevi was observed on 8 June at 1155 rising higher than 12 km a.s.l. and drifting SE. The plume was not visible on satellite imagery. A report from an aircraft revealed that on 9 June at 1011 there was no indication of an ash cloud near Lopevi. That day at 1430 the airport reported that a ~18.5-km-wide, thick black ash cloud was visible rising to ~2.7 km a.s.l. and drifting SE.
Geologic Background. The small 7-km-wide conical island of Lopevi, known locally as Vanei Vollohulu, is one of Vanuatu's most active volcanoes. A small summit crater containing a cinder cone is breached to the NW and tops an older cone that is rimmed by the remnant of a larger crater. The basaltic-to-andesitic volcano has been active during historical time at both summit and flank vents, primarily along a NW-SE-trending fissure that cuts across the island, producing moderate explosive eruptions and lava flows that reached the coast. Historical eruptions at the 1413-m-high volcano date back to the mid-19th century. The island was evacuated following major eruptions in 1939 and 1960. The latter eruption, from a NW-flank fissure vent, produced a pyroclastic flow that swept to the sea and a lava flow that formed a new peninsula on the western coast.