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Report on Lopevi (Vanuatu) — 11 June-17 June 2003


Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
11 June-17 June 2003
Managing Editor: Gari Mayberry

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2003. Report on Lopevi (Vanuatu). In: Mayberry, G (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 11 June-17 June 2003. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Weekly Report (11 June-17 June 2003)



16.507°S, 168.346°E; summit elev. 1413 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

The eruption that began at Lopevi on 9 June continued through at least 14 June. An airport in Vanuatu reported to the Wellington VAAC that a thick plume rose to ~7.5 km a.s.l. on 11 June. The plume drifted SE and was ~9 km in diameter. They reported that on 13 June a ~9-km-diameter plume rose to ~2.5 km a.s.l. Also, on 14 June an ash cloud was at a height of ~2.5 km a.s.l. and a thin lava flow was visible on the volcano's W flank. A news article stated that the eruption of Lopevi was causing acid rain to fall on island villages in Vanuatu that are close to the volcano. Local disaster management personnel warned residents of the islands of Paama, Epi, and villages in SE Ambryn to secure their rain-based water supplies.

Geological Summary. 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.

Sources: Wellington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), ABC News - Australian Broadcasting Corporation