The whole island of Ambrym has been shaped by the enormous basaltic Ambrym volcano. Sometimes around 190 AD (or somewhat later… or before this… exact date is not known) here happened a giant volcanic eruption which created the present-day Ambrym caldera which is some 12 by 8 km large.
Later in this caldera rose several craters – two larger ones (Benbow and Marum) and three smaller ones.
Ambrym is one of the world’s most active volcanoes up to this day. It’s eruptions often are disastrous and local people from time to time (e.g. in December 1913) are forced to flee from the island.
According to a local legend, one of the villages has a special power over the volcano. They have magical stones hidden in the ground – these stones can cause the eruption.
Lava lake in Mbwelesu Crater
The research history of Ambrym volcano is fairly short – only in the late 19th century, it was first climbed. Several times there have been observed lava lakes. For several decades from the 1990ies until December 2018, there existed two lava lakes – one in Benbow Crater and one in a smaller side crater of Marum – Mbwelesu Crater.
In August 2018 there were even three lava lakes – a third one appeared in Niri Mbwelesu crater around January 2018.
The lava lake in Mbwelesu crater could be observed right from the rim of the crater. The rims of the crater are near vertical – one should be very careful here.
The lava lake was small but absolutely fascinating. It had constant lava fountains rising up to 30 m high, the small lake had a constant movement, mesmerizing the visitors. It was even more impressive during the night. There were few places on Earth with similar experience.
After a powerful eruption and several earthquakes, all lava lakes of Ambrym volcano have disappeared. We do not know if they will return…
Mbwelesu Crater (Marum Crater) on the map
|Location, GPS coordinates:||16.2510 S 168.1366 E|
|Categories:||Volcanoes, Lakes and streams, Places with meteorological phenomena|
|Rating:||(4.5 / 5)|
|Where is located?||Oceania, Melanesia, Vanuatu, central part of Ambrym Island, in the side crater of Marum Crater – Mbwelesu Crater|
|Alternate names||Marum Crater (not very correct)|
|Height:||around 1,334 m|
Video of Mbwelesu Crater
GoPro, October 2014
This category includes the most unusual and interesting volcanoes of the world.
Over the last 10,000 years in some 1,500 places around the Earth through the crust of the planet was emitted lava, ash, and gases from the mantle of Earth. Each of these places is an active volcano. Every year some 50 – 70 volcanoes are erupting, at any moment there are some 20 – 30 eruptions on-going.
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