Report on Lopevi (Vanuatu) — 10 December-16 December 2014
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 10 December-16 December 2014
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2014. Report on Lopevi (Vanuatu). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 10 December-16 December 2014. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
16.507°S, 168.346°E; summit elev. 1413 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
On 15 December the Vanuatu Geohazards Observatory reported that, based on observations and analyses in early December, activity at Lopevi had increased dramatically over a short time period. The Alert Level was raised to 1 (on a scale of 0-4), and access to the island was prohibited.
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.