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Ambrym volcano (Vanuatu): new eruption in caldera as curtain of fire erupts from fissure at base of Marum cone

Mon, 17 Dec 2018, 08:44 08:44 AM | BY: T
Lava fountains from Ambrym's intracaldera flank eruption (image: John Tasso)
Lava fountains from Ambrym's intracaldera flank eruption (image: John Tasso)
Hot spots inside the caldera showing the approx. extent of the lava flows (image: MODIS / Univ. Hawaii)
Hot spots inside the caldera showing the approx. extent of the lava flows (image: MODIS / Univ. Hawaii)
SO2 plume from Ambrym (image: NOAA)
SO2 plume from Ambrym (image: NOAA)
Current seismic signal from Ambrym (image: Geohazards)
Current seismic signal from Ambrym (image: Geohazards)
A small fissure eruption began inside the volcano's caldera near the base of Marum cone on Saturday (15 Dec) morning at around 06:00 local time.
Our trusted local guide John arrived first on the scene a few hours after the start of the eruption and observed a approx. 100 m long erupting curtain of fire (several lava fountains arranged closely spaced along a fissure) to a height of approx. 40 m, producing a lava flow and a small steam and ash plume.
The lava flows are spreading towards the eastern part of the caldera but are not expected to reach much more than one or two kilometers in length as the size of the eruption is considered small (so far).
However, if lava flows continue and find a way outside the caldera, they could threaten villages on the eastern slopes and coast.

"People from Ambrym and neighboring islands may view volcanic ash and/or gas plumes and hear volcanic explosions. This is a small-scale eruption.", the volcano observatory reported.
The alert level of the volcano remains at 3 (on a 1-5 scale).

Previous news

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Ambrym volcano
shield volcano 1334 m (4,377 ft)
Vanuatu, -16.25°S / 168.12°E
Current status: normal or dormant (1 out of 5) Ambrym volcano eruptions:
1774, 1820(?), 1863, 1870(?), 1871, 1883, 1884, 1886, 1888, 1894, 1898, 1908, 1909(?), 1910, 1912, 1913, 1915, 1929, 1935, 1937, 1938, 1942, 1950, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1955, 1957, 1958, 1960, 1961, 1963, 1964, 1967, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1977 (2x), 1979 (2x), 1980, 1981, 1983, 1984, 1986, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1994, 1996, 2006, 2008, 2009 -ongoing
Typical eruption style
Effusive, formation of lava lakes

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