Report on Ambae (Vanuatu) — 22 December-28 December 2021
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
22 December-28 December 2021
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2021. Report on Ambae (Vanuatu). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 22 December-28 December 2021. 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 (VMGD) raised the Alert Level for Ambae to 2 (on a scale of 0-5) on 27 December, noting confirmation of a cone that has built up in Lake Voui and increasing activity. A vent in the lake had been emitting steam-and-gas emissions and ejecting wet tephra above the lake’s surface since 5 December. The public was warned to stay outside of the Danger Zone defined as a 2-km radius around the active vents in Lake Voui and away from drainages during heavy rains.
Geological Summary. 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.