volcano icon  Benbow and Marum Volcano

Ambrym, a large basaltic shield volcano with a 12-km-wide caldera, is one of the most active volcanoes of the Vanuatu arc. Benbow and Marum cones within the caldera are the main active vents, with glowing lava lake inside. Eruptions have occured almost yearly during time from cones within the caldera or from flank vents.

  •  Elevation: 1334 m / 4376 ft
  •  Latitude: 16° 15' 54.26'' S
  •  Longitude: 168° 7' 17.50'' E

Volcano Types

  •  Shield volcano
  •  Caldera 
  •  Scoria cone
  •  Maars

Most recent eruption

  • When: Mid-December 2018
  • Effect : A short-lived but moderate size eruption focused at the summit caldera, and also affected the Eastern Fracture or Rift Zone with ground deformation, rifting, faulting and uplift, but no eruption occurred there. The eruptions impacted and displaced some residents at the Eastern side of Ambrym island.
  • When: 21st - 28th February 2015
  • Effect: Fissure eruption occured between Niri-Mbwelesu and Mbwelesu craters generating lava fountain, lava flow, formation of scoria cones and explosive activity with ash columns.

Past eruptions

  • When: 1977
  • Effect: Large ash-eruptions occasionally occur from Marum and Benbow covering crops and villages in the west and north with ash.
  • When: 1894, 1913, 1929
  • Effect: In 1894 explosion from Benbow with hurled column of dust charged steam, in 1913 and 1929 large fissure eruption and explosive activity, lava flows and lahards.