Report on Yasur (Vanuatu) — 29 December-4 January 2022
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
29 December-4 January 2022
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2021. Report on Yasur (Vanuatu). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 29 December-4 January 2022. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
19.532°S, 169.447°E; summit elev. 361 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
On 30 December the Vanuatu Meteorology and Geohazards Department (VMGD) reported that activity at Yasur continued at a high level of “major unrest,” as defined by the Alert Level 2 status. Activity consisted of loud explosions, emissions of steam and ash, and the ejection of bombs that fell inside and around the crater area. Alert Level 2 is the middle level on a scale of 0-4. The public was reminded not to enter the restricted area within 600 m around the cone, defined by Danger Zone A on the hazard map.
Geological Summary. 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.