Report on Ambae (Vanuatu) — 4 July-10 July 2018
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 4 July-10 July 2018
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2018. Report on Ambae (Vanuatu). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 4 July-10 July 2018. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
15.389°S, 167.835°E; summit elev. 1496 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
The Vanuatu Meteorology and Geo-hazards Department reported that the recent eruption at Ambae’s Lake Voui was characterized by three phases of activity: Phase 1, September to late November 2017; Phase 2, late December 2017 to early February 2018; and Phase 3, February to April 2018. A fourth phase, which began on 20 June, consists of gas-and-steam emissions sometimes with ash; an ash plume on 1 July caused ashfall on the NW and W parts of the island and also on the NE part of Santo Island. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 0-5), and the report reminded residents to stay at least 2 km away from the active crater.
Geologic Background. The island of Ambae, also known as Aoba, is a massive 2,500 km3 basaltic shield that is the most voluminous volcano of the New Hebrides archipelago. A pronounced NE-SW-trending rift zone dotted with scoria cones gives the 16 x 38 km island an elongated form. A broad pyroclastic cone containing three crater lakes (Manaro Ngoru, Voui, and Manaro Lakua) is located at the summit within the youngest of at least two nested calderas, the largest of which is 6 km in diameter. That large central edifice is also called Manaro Voui or Lombenben volcano. Post-caldera explosive eruptions formed the summit craters about 360 years ago. A tuff cone was constructed within Lake Voui (or Vui) about 60 years later. The latest known flank eruption, about 300 years ago, destroyed the population of the Nduindui area near the western coast.