Report on Lopevi (Vanuatu) — 10 May-16 May 2006
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 10 May-16 May 2006
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2006. Report on Lopevi (Vanuatu). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 10 May-16 May 2006. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
16.507°S, 168.346°E; summit elev. 1413 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
The Wellington VAAC reported that a slow moving plume from Lopevi reached a height of 3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l. on 10 May. On 11 May, a plume rose to 4.6 km (15,000 ft) a.s.l. and trended SE. During 12-13 May, the plume height lessened to 3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l. as the eruption vigor reportedly decreased. According to Vanuatu's National Disaster Office, a news article reported that on 15 May an eruption at Lopevi produced heavy ashfall extending to the neighboring islands of Ambrym and Paama.
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.