Mere Lava Volcano | John Seach


Banks Islands, Torba Province, Vanuatu

14.45 S, 168.05 E
Summit elevation 883 m

Mere Lava is an extinct or dormant volcano which rises steeply from the ocean in northern Vanuatu. The volcanic cone is divided by an E-W fault which crosses the crater. Mere Lava is located at the southern end of the Northern Trough, which is an active back-arc rift.

Mere Lava Island is a simple stratovolcano composed of tholeiitic basalt lavas. The island has 30 degree slopes which are undissected which indicates a young age. Mere Lava is the only potentially active volcano outside the central volcanic chain of Vanuatu.

The youngest deposits on Mere Lava Island are located in the northeast, where there is a line of well-preserved cinder cones. Large volumes of fluid lava have originated from the cinder cones.

2002 Earthquake
A large shallow earthquake hit close to Mere Lava Island in December 2002. Extensive damage occurred on the island.

1606 Eruption
Mere Lava was seen in eruption in 1606 by the Spanish explorer Quiros.

Further reading
Taylor, B. and Natland, J., 1995. Active margins and marginal basins of the Western Pacific. American Geophysical Union.

Mere Lava Volcano Eruptions