Illustrated Volcano Glossary

Ambrym

Volcano
The crater of Benbow (Ambrym)
The crater of Benbow (Ambrym)
Ambrym is a large basaltic volcano with a 12-km-wide caldera. It is not only one of the most active volcanoes of Vanuatu, but in the world. Its most active craters often contain small lava lakes.
Volcano typeshield volcano normal or dormant
LocationVanuatu
Summit elevation1334 m (4,377 ft)
Ambrym volcano eruptions1774, 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 styleEffusive, formation of lava lakes
Ambrym is a large basaltic volcano with a 12-km-wide caldera. It is not only one of the most active volcanoes of Vanuatu, but also in the world.
Ambrym's caldera is a wide, impressive moon-like landscape containing an ash plain, cut by innumerable erosion gullies and containing several active craters and recent lava flows.
The caldera is believed to have formed during a major plinian eruption with dacitic pyroclastic flows about 1900 years ago. Activity after the caldera formation was concentrated around two vents that have become large complex craters called Marum and Benbow. Often, both Marum and Benbow (as well as other craters) contain small lava lakes, which occasionally erupt lava flows onto the caldera floor, or even exit the caldera through erosion gaps.
The post-caldera eruptions have also formed a series of scoria cones and maars along a fissure system oriented ENE-WSW. Eruptions have apparently occurred almost yearly during historical time from cones within the caldera or from flank vents. However, from 1850 to 1950, reporting was mostly limited to extra-caldera eruptions that would have affected local populations.
Occasionally, explosive eruptions occur from the craters, mostly because of water-magma interaction. Such eruptions produce tall clouds of ash, and can cause serious health problems in the local population because the ash contaminates ground water.

Related keywords (3):

Gaua - hornito - Pu'u 'O'o
Try our free app!
Volcanoes & Earthquakes - new app for Android
Android | iOS version

More on VolcanoDiscovery

Why is there advertising on this site?
Support us - Help us upgrade our services!
We truly love working to bring you the latest volcano and earthquake data from around the world. Maintaining our website and our free apps does require, however, considerable time and resources.
We need financing to increase hard- and software capacity as well as support our editor team. We're aiming to achieve uninterrupted service wherever an earthquake or volcano eruption unfolds, and your donations can make it happen! Every donation will be highly appreciated. If you find the information useful and would like to support our team in integrating further features, write great content, and in upgrading our soft- and hardware, please make a donation (PayPal or Online credit card payment).

Planned features:
  • Weather reports
  • Tsunami alerts
  • Design upgrades
  • Faster responsiveness
Thanks to your past donations, these features have been added recently:
  • Earthquake archive from 1900 onwards
  • Additional seismic data sources
  • Improved content in English
Download and Upgrade the Volcanoes & Earthquakes app to get one of the fastest seismic and volcano alerts online:
Android | IOS
Thank you!
Copyrights: VolcanoDiscovery and other sources as noted.
Use of material: Most texts and images, in particular photographs, on this website are protected by copyright. Further reproduction and use of without authorization is usually not consented. If you are not sure or need licensing rights for photographs, for example for publications and commercial use, please contact us.