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The small volcanic cone of Lopevi is known locally as Vanei Vollohulu.

It is a young volcano, with the summit of the cone reaching 1413 m of altitude.

It is a basaltic to andesitic volcano that has been active during historical times both at its summit and along the flanks along an oriented NO-SE crack that crosses the island producing moderate explosive eruptions and Lava flows that reach the coast.

The historical eruptions of Lopevi were recorded in 1864, 1874, 1883-84, 1892-93, 1908, 1922 and 1939

After a long period of inactivity during which a population of 270 inhabitants settled in three villages, the volcano erupted suddenly on July 10, 1960 at 16:40 local. A Plinian phase developed from a crater located below the summit crater at about 700 m altitude, followed immediately by avalanche flows, devastating an area of the northern flank but avoiding the village on the edge There were no casualties, the population having taken refuge on the neighboring islands. Eruptive phases producing "aa" lavas and explosive episodes maintained activity for several weeks.


This last eruption, resulting from a crack vent of the NO flank, produced a pyroclastic flow that swept the sea and a flow of lava that formed a new peninsula on the west coast.

A further eruption occurred in 1962 from the same craters, and continued intermittently for more than two years, with lateral cracks and lava flows always of "aa" type.

The observations made later on the activity of this volcano, which has not changed, suggest that Lopevi volcanism, like that of the other eruptive centers of the archipelago, is characterized, in a basic magmatic context , By an explosive dynamism of phreato-magmatic type due to intense water-magma interactivity in an ocean environment and a local tectonic regime distant from the earth's crust.

Last eruption on January 13, 2017 with a plume of 3 km of height.

The island was evacuated following major eruptions in 1939 and 1960.

Following eruptive activity in April-May 2007, Lopevi remained silent until May 2015, with the exception of the observation of a gray plume on 24 February 2008 and an increase in activity Volcanic in December 2014. No thermal anomaly, based on MODIS satellite data, has been observed since the 2007 eruption.

Right image:

Eruption of the volcano Lopévi of June 9th, 2003 (11h local), whose plume reached more than 4 000 meters of altitude, one distinguishes from bottom to top: a pyroclastic casting or burning cloud, a column of ashes, a column of vapors © Vanair / Ph. The wolf


On December 15, 2014, the Vanuatu Geohazards Observatory (VGO) reported that, based on observations and analysis in early December, volcanic activity had increased significantly over a short period of time. No further details on the type of activity were available. The alert level was increased to 1 (on a scale of 0-4), and access to the island was prohibited.

Last eruption on January 13, 2017 with a plume of 3 km of height.

Based on a pilot observation and a webcam view, Wellington VAAC reported that an eruption at Lopevi began at 05:00 on 13 January 2017 and produced a plume that did not exceed 3 km and derived On the SE.

(Ph. Bani et al., (2012) A. Beaumais et al. (2013).)

(Back to the list of volcanoes of Vanuatu)



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