Ambrym Island is one of the most volcanically active islands on earth.
This volcanic powerhouse is part of the archipelago that comprises Vanuatu. In 1774, Captain James Cook gave the island its modern name.
On average, it is the site of several powerful eruptions from one or both of the two volcanoes still active. These impressive geological features are Benbow and Marum. Ash deposited due to interactions between the ever-present magma and seawater regularly affects the local populations.
Ambrym Island Geology
Ambrym Island has a total area of roughly 262 sq mi (678 sq km). In the approximate center of the island is an enormous caldera. This covers an area of more than 39 sq mi (100 sq km).
There are also two permanent lava lakes present on the island, situated near the summit of the mountain. Also, the mineralogical composition of the two cinder cones is primarily basalt.
By a striking contrast, extremely dense jungle covers the remainder of Ambrym Island. Along with many portions of the perimeter of the island, this dense jungle extends virtually to the water’s edge.
What a sight this land must have been for the ancient explorers.
Ambrym Island History
The incredible caldera of the island came into existence in 50 AD, by a gargantuan Plinian eruption. In fact, this eruption must have been one of the most powerful in the modern era.
Even though the most recent significant volcanic activity on Ambrym Island occurred in 1913, some remains present at all times. Indeed, destructive eruptions occur several times every century.
Two lava lakes are present on the island that remain active constantly. Small lava flows occur routinely and ash clouds appear periodically, as lava interacts with the surrounding water.