Yasur

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  • Vanuatu
  • Vanuatu
  • Stratovolcano
  • 2013 CE
  • Country
  • Subregion Name
  • Primary Volcano Type
  • Last Known Eruption
  • 19.53°S
  • 169.442°E

  • 361 m
    1184 ft

  • 257100
  • Latitude
  • Longitude

  • Summit
    Elevation

  • Volcano
    Number

13 November-19 November 2013

On 19 November, the Vanuatu Geohazards Observatory reported that a new phase of ash emissions from Yasur began on 3 November. The intensity of the explosive activity remained low; therefore the Alert Level remained at 1 (on a scale of 0-4).

Source: Vanuatu Geohazards Observatory



 Available Weekly Reports


2013: April | May | November
2012: July
2011: May | June
2010: March | May
2009: January
2004: March
2002: January | August


13 November-19 November 2013

On 19 November, the Vanuatu Geohazards Observatory reported that a new phase of ash emissions from Yasur began on 3 November. The intensity of the explosive activity remained low; therefore the Alert Level remained at 1 (on a scale of 0-4).

Source: Vanuatu Geohazards Observatory


22 May-28 May 2013

On 28 May, the Vanuatu Geohazards Observatory reported that activity at Yasur continued to increase slightly, and bombs fell around the summit area, the tourist walk, and the parking area. Ash venting and dense white plumes from the crater were observed. Photos included in the report showed ash emissions and ashfall on 5 and 8 May, and dense white plumes on 23 and 24 May. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 0-4).

Source: Vanuatu Geohazards Observatory


3 April-9 April 2013

On 7 April, the Vanuatu Geohazards Observatory reported that explosive activity from Yasur had increased beginning on 2 April; explosions had become stronger and more frequent. Bombs fell around the summit area, the tourist walk, and the parking area. Moderate ash venting occurred on 2, 4, and 5 April, and possibly continued. The Alert Level was lowered to 2 (on a scale of 0-4).

Source: Vanuatu Geohazards Observatory


25 July-31 July 2012

Following an assessment during 7-12 July, the Geohazards Observatory team concluded that explosive activity at Yasur had slightly increased, becoming stronger and more frequent, and shifting from Strombolian to sub-Plinian. Bombs ejected from the vents fell in the crater, around the summit area, and on the tourist walk and parking area. The explosions were heard, felt, and observed from nearby villages and schools. Activity at all three volcanic vents was characterized by degassing, ash emissions, and ejection of bombs. On 13 July the Alert Level was raised to 3 (on a scale of 0-4).

Source: Vanuatu Geohazards Observatory


8 June-14 June 2011

On 13 June, the Vanuatu Geohazards Observatory reported that activity from Yasur decreased during the previous week after a brief period of high activity with significant explosions and ashfall. Even though Strombolian activity occasionally ejected bombs that fell around the crater, explosions had become slightly weaker and less frequent. The Alert Level was lowered to 2 (on a scale of 0-4).

Source: Vanuatu Geohazards Observatory


1 June-7 June 2011

On 1 June, the Vanuatu Geohazards Observatory raised the Alert Level for Yasur to 3 (on a scale of 0-4) following increasing explosive activity during May. Access to the volcano was closed and a 500-m zone around the volcano was restricted. The Geohazards team noted strong explosions from all three active vents along with ash emissions and bomb ejections during 31 May-3 June. Bombs fell around the crater rim and explosions were heard and observed from nearby villages.

Source: Vanuatu Geohazards Observatory


11 May-17 May 2011

On 12 May, the Vanuatu Geohazards Observatory reported that, based on information collected by the Vanuatu Meteorology and Geohazards Department, satellite imagery showed strong degassing from Yasur during the previous week. Residents living close to the volcano reported persistent strong explosions that were heard and felt on 12 May. The Vanuatu Volcano Alert Level (VVAL) remained at 2 (on a scale of 0-4).

Source: Vanuatu Geohazards Observatory


26 May-1 June 2010

The Vanuatu Geohazards Observatory reported that the Vanuatu Volcano Alert Level (VVAL) for Yasur was increased to 3 (on a scale of 0-4) on 27 May. Recent activity was characterized by moderate to large eruptions with strong explosions, ejected bombs that fell on the visitor viewing area, and significant ashfall in nearby villages. Visitors were not allowed to enter a restricted zone, within about 500 m around the volcano. Activity had been escalating since January 2010. According to a news article, an eruption plume on 1 June rose to an altitude of 1.8 km (6,000 ft) a.s.l. and spread over 340 square kilometers, canceling or delaying some flights in and out of New Caledonia (about 430 km WSW).

Sources: Vanuatu Geohazards Observatory, Agence France-Presse (AFP), Notimex


5 May-11 May 2010

On 11 May the Vanuatu Geohazards Observatory reported that, following an assessment of Yasur during 26-27 April, activity from the volcano remained high. Strong degassing and ash emissions from all three active vents were noted. Ash fell on the E and W parts of the island. New bombs were deposited around the crater rim and in areas near the vents. Explosions were heard and seen from surrounding villages. Satellite imagery and seismic data confirmed strong degassing and explosive activity. The Vanuatu Volcano Alert Level (VVAL) remained at 2 (on a scale of 0-4).

Source: Vanuatu Geohazards Observatory


10 March-16 March 2010

On 12 March, Vanuatu Geohazards Observatory reported that thermal anomalies from Yasur were detected in satellite imagery during 8 December 2009-8 March 2010. They also noted an increase in activity since January 2010. Satellite images from 21 January showed significant sulfur dioxide gas emissions. Bombs were ejected sometime during the week of 1 March. Observations on 8 March and analyses of seismic data also indicated increased activity, and all three vents were active. The Vanuatu Volcano Alert Level (VVAL) was raised to 2 (on a scale of 0-4).

Source: Vanuatu Geohazards Observatory


7 January-13 January 2009

Based on a pilot observation, the Wellington VAAC reported that an ash plume from Yasur rose to an altitude of 4 km (13,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SE. Ash was not identified on satellite imagery.

Source: Wellington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)


31 March-6 April 2004

According to a report from John Seach, eruptive activity at Yasur continued at "normal" levels during March, with an average of 500 explosions occurring per day.

Source: Volcano Live


28 August-3 September 2002

An increase in activity at Yasur since October 2001 and the occurrence of a M 6 volcanic earthquake on 29 August at 1500 led scientists to increase the Alarm Level at Yasur to 3. This was the largest earthquake recorded at Yasur since seismic stations were installed in October 1992. Access to the volcano was prohibited and no evacuations were ordered.

Source: IRD Noumea via European Volcanological Society


23 January-29 January 2002

An eruption occurred at Yasur on 25 January around 1300. A pilot reported that an ash cloud rose ~2 km a.s.l. and slowly drifted S. The ash cloud was not visible on satellite imagery, possibly due to heavy meteorological cloud cover.

Source: Wellington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)


16 January-22 January 2002

Scientists were on alert for heightened volcanic activity at Yasur following a M 7.2 earthquake on 3 January at 0430 near Vanuatu. The earthquake produced landslides in Vanuatu's capital, Port Vila, and damaged buildings and bridges in the city, but there were no deaths or serious injuries. During 5 January to at least 16 January Yasur was active with ash falling on the population of Tanna Island, polluting water sources. The week of 6 January the Vanuatu government restricted access to the volcano's crater citing an increased risk of a large eruption since the 3 January earthquake. Authorities are prepared to evacuate residents from near the volcano if a large eruption occurs.

Source: ReliefWeb


Summary of eruption dates and Volcanic Explosivity Indices (VEI).

Start Date Stop Date Eruption Certainty VEI Evidence Activity Area or Unit
1774 (in or before) 2013 Nov 19 (continuing) Confirmed 3 Historical Observations
1150 (?) Unknown Confirmed 2 Radiocarbon (uncorrected)
0850 ± 300 years Unknown Confirmed   Radiocarbon (uncorrected)
0550 (?) Unknown Confirmed   Radiocarbon (uncorrected)

The following references are the sources used for data regarding this volcano. References are linked directly to our volcano data file. Discussion of another volcano or eruption (sometimes far from the one that is the subject of the manuscript) may produce a citation that is not at all apparent from the title. Additional discussion of data sources can be found under Volcano Data Criteria.

Allen S R, 2005. Complex spatter- and pumice-rich pyroclastic deposits from an andesitic caldera-forming eruption: the Siwi pyroclastic sequence, Tanna, Vanuatu. Bull Volc, 67: 27-41.

Carney J N, Macfarlane A, 1979. Geology of Tanna, Aneityum, Futuna and Aniwa. New Hebrides Geol Surv Reg Rpt, 81 p.

Fisher N H, 1957. Melanesia. Catalog of Active Volcanoes of the World and Solfatara Fields, Rome: IAVCEI, 5: 1-105.

New Hebrides Geological Survey, 1978b. Geology of Tanna, Aneityum, Futuna and Aniwa. New Hebrides Geol Surv, 1:100,000 geol map sheet 11.

Robin C, Eissen J-P, Monzier M, 1994. Ignimbrites of basaltic andesite and andesite composition from Tanna, New Hebrides Arc. Bull Volc, 56: 10-22.

Robin C, Monzier M, Crawford A J, Eggins S M, 1993. The geology, volcanology, petrology-geochemistry, and tectonic evolution of the New Hebrides island arc, Vanuatu. IAVCEI Canberra 1993 excursion guide, Aust Geol Surv Org, Rec 1993/59, 86 p.

Yasur, the best-known and most frequently visited of the Vanuatu volcanoes, has been in more-or-less continuous strombolian and vulcanian activity since Captain Cook observed ash eruptions in 1774. This style of activity may have continued for the past 800 years. Yasur, located at the SE tip of Tanna Island, is a mostly unvegetated 361-m-high pyroclastic cone with a nearly circular, 400-m-wide summit crater. Yasur is largely contained within the small Yenkahe caldera and is the youngest of a group of Holocene volcanic centers constructed over the down-dropped NE flank of the Pleistocene Tukosmeru volcano. The Yenkahe horst is located within the Siwi ring fracture, a 4-km-wide, horseshoe-shaped caldera associated with eruption of the andesitic Siwi pyroclastic sequence. Active tectonism along the Yenkahe horst accompanying eruptions of Yasur has raised Port Resolution harbor more than 20 m during the past century.