Report on Yasur (Vanuatu) — 12 October-18 October 2016
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 12 October-18 October 2016
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2016. Report on Yasur (Vanuatu). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 12 October-18 October 2016. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
19.532°S, 169.447°E; summit elev. 361 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
On 15 October the Vanuatu Geohazards Observatory stated that the Alert Level for Yasur was raised to 3 (on a scale of 0-4), noting that explosions could become more intense. The Alert Level was lowered back to 2 on 18 October. VGO reminded residents and tourists that hazardous areas were near and around the volcanic crater, within a 600-m-radius permanent exclusion zone, and that volcanic ash and gas could reach areas impacted by trade winds.
Geologic Background. Yasur, the best-known and most frequently visited of the Vanuatu volcanoes, has been in more-or-less continuous Strombolian and Vulcanian activity since Captain Cook observed ash eruptions in 1774. This style of activity may have continued for the past 800 years. Located at the SE tip of Tanna Island, this mostly unvegetated pyroclastic cone has a nearly circular, 400-m-wide summit crater. The active cone is largely contained within the small Yenkahe caldera, and is the youngest of a group of Holocene volcanic centers constructed over the down-dropped NE flank of the Pleistocene Tukosmeru volcano. The Yenkahe horst is located within the Siwi ring fracture, a 4-km-wide, horseshoe-shaped caldera associated with eruption of the andesitic Siwi pyroclastic sequence. Active tectonism along the Yenkahe horst accompanying eruptions has raised Port Resolution harbor more than 20 m during the past century.