Report on Ambae (Vanuatu) — 24 October-30 October 2018
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 24 October-30 October 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, 24 October-30 October 2018. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
15.389°S, 167.835°E; summit elev. 1496 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
At 1832 on 30 October an eruption at Ambae’s Lake Voui generated ash plumes that rose to altitudes of 3-10.7 km (10,000-35,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted mainly E and SE, based on satellite data, ground-based observations, wind model data, Vanuatu Meteorology and Geo-hazards Department (VMGD), and the Wellington VAAC. According to the VAAC the ash cloud was about 3,400-5,100 square kilometers in area.
Geologic Background. The island of Ambae, also known as Aoba, is a massive 2500 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.