Vanuatu May 2009: the crater of Benbow (Ambrym volcano)

In May 2009, lava levels have risen inside the conduits of Ambrym volcano, feeding strong activity of spattering and low lava fountaining inside the vents of Benbow crater. Favoured by exceptional weather conditions, we were able to descend into the crater and have unusually clear views of the inner crater walls, the vents as well its spectacular activity. Pictures were taken during our recent expedition to Vanuatu on May 24, 2009.
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The Benbow crater rising above the ash plain. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
The Benbow crater rising above the ash plain. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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The outer flanks of Benbow crater carved by hundreds of erosion gullies.  (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
The outer flanks of Benbow crater carved by hundreds of erosion gullies. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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The trail up to the crater rim follows a ridge between two erosion gullies. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
The trail up to the crater rim follows a ridge between two erosion gullies. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Erosion gullies of Benbow crater (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Erosion gullies of Benbow crater (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Joachim abseils into the Benbow crater. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Joachim abseils into the Benbow crater. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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The active vents inside Benbow crater surrounded by circular crater walls. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
The active vents inside Benbow crater surrounded by circular crater walls. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Spattering from the south pit vent. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Spattering from the south pit vent. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Highly fluid lava bursts from the vent of Benbow, Ambrym volcano, Vanuatu (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Highly fluid lava bursts from the vent of Benbow, Ambrym volcano, Vanuatu (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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A bursting lava bubble throws out a fountain of liquid spatter. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
A bursting lava bubble throws out a fountain of liquid spatter. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Spatter falling back to the ground (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Spatter falling back to the ground (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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South and north pits inside the Benbow crater. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
South and north pits inside the Benbow crater. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Spattering in the south pit crater. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Spattering in the south pit crater. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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The active craters of Benbow at dusk. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
The active craters of Benbow at dusk. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Our expedition group perched on a ledge above the craters inside Benbow (Ambrym volcano, Vanuatu) (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Our expedition group perched on a ledge above the craters inside Benbow (Ambrym volcano, Vanuatu) (P... [info]
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Our group's perfect observation spot inside Benbow's crater.  (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Our group's perfect observation spot inside Benbow's crater. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Ronny photographing the lava activity in the crater of Benbow. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Ronny photographing the lava activity in the crater of Benbow. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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