Report on Gaua (Vanuatu) — 29 December-4 January 2011
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
29 December-4 January 2011
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2010. Report on Gaua (Vanuatu). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 29 December-4 January 2011. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
14.281°S, 167.514°E; summit elev. 729 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
On 21 December, the Vanuatu Geohazards Observatory reported that volcanic activity from Gaua had been low since September. Recent observations indicated that the near-vent vegetation and vegetation exposed to trade winds on the W side of the island was again growing. Seismic data showed a decreasing number of events. The Alert Level was lowered to 1 (on a scale of 0-4).
Geological Summary. The roughly 20-km-diameter Gaua Island, also known as Santa Maria, consists of a basaltic-to-andesitic stratovolcano with an 6 x 9 km summit caldera. Small parasitic vents near the caldera rim fed Pleistocene lava flows that reached the coast on several sides of the island; littoral cones were formed where these lava flows reached the ocean. Quiet collapse that formed the roughly 700-m-deep caldera was followed by extensive ash eruptions. The active Mount Garet (or Garat) cone in the SW part of the caldera has three pit craters across the summit area. Construction of Garet and other small cinder cones has left a crescent-shaped lake. The onset of eruptive activity from a vent high on the SE flank in 1962 ended a long period of dormancy.
Source: Vanuatu Meteorology and Geo-Hazards Department (VMGD)