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Report on Epi (Vanuatu) — 1 February-7 February 2023


Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
1 February-7 February 2023
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2023. Report on Epi (Vanuatu). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 1 February-7 February 2023. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Weekly Report (1 February-7 February 2023)



16.68°S, 168.37°E; summit elev. 833 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

According to the Vanuatu Meteorology and Geo-Hazards Department (VMGD) an overflight of Epi was conducted during the afternoon of 31 January. Steam was observed rising from the ocean’s surface above Epi B, water around the eruption site was discolored, and rafts of pumice were floating on the surface following the currents. Several strands of pumice rafts to the SW, NW, and N of Epi B were visible in 2 February Sentinel B satellite images. During 0700-1030 on 7 February residents observed minor, low-level steaming above Epi B. The intensity of steam emissions varied, increasing and decreasing as new lava was erupted from Epi B. Steaming was again reported by residents starting around 0600 on 8 February. The seismic network recorded elevated seismicity during the previous few days.

Geological Summary. A large caldera, with submarine post-caldera cones active in historical time, lies off the eastern coast of Epi Island. Epi Island itself, located slightly west of the main New Hebrides volcanic arc, largely consists of two Quaternary volcanoes, Mount Allombei on the west and Pomare (Tavani Kutali) on the east. Tavani Ruro, which forms an elongated eastern extension of Epi Island across a narrow isthmus, is related to Kuwae caldera to the east. Pomare volcano is the highest point on the island and has three well-preserved subsidiary cones to the east with youthful summit craters. Pomare volcano is truncated on its eastern side by the largely submarine East Epi caldera, which has been the source of all historical eruptions. Three small submarine basaltic and dacitic cones, known as Epi A, Epi B, and Epi C, are located along the northern rim of the breached caldera. Ephemeral islands were formed during eruptions in 1920 and 1953, and the summit of the shallowest cone, Epi B, was at 34 m below sea level at the time of a 2001 survey.

Sources: Vanuatu Meteorology and Geo-Hazards Department (VMGD), Sentinel Hub