Report on Lopevi (Vanuatu) — 11 January-17 January 2017
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 11 January-17 January 2017
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2017. Report on Lopevi (Vanuatu). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 11 January-17 January 2017. 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 a pilot observation and webcam views, the Wellington VAAC reported that an eruption at Lopevi began at 0500 on 13 January, and produced a plume that rose no higher that 3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SE. That same day the Vanuatu Geohazards Observatory reported that the Alert Level was raised to 3 (on a scale of 0-5), indicating that a minor eruption was in progress.
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.