Map of Ambrym
|Area||677.7 km2 (261.7 sq mi)|
|Highest elevation||1,334 m (4,377 ft)|
Lava lake in Marum crater, Ambrym, in a photo taken 24 September 2009
|Elevation||1,334 m (4,377 ft) |
|Mountain type||Pyroclastic shield|
|Volcanic arc||New Hebrides arc|
|Last eruption||2009 to 2018 (Ongoing)|
Ambrym (aka Ambrin, "ham rim" in the Ranon language) was allegedly named by Captain Cook, who is said to have anchored off there in 1774. In fact, his expedition never touched Ambrym.
Located near the center of the long Vanuatuan archipelago, Ambrym is roughly triangular in shape, about 50 km (31 mi) wide. With 677.7 square kilometres (261.7 sq mi) of surface area, it is the fifth largest island in the country.
With the exception of human settlements, the rest of the island is covered by thick jungle.
The caldera is the result of a huge Plinian eruption, which took place around 50 AD. Its explosive force is rated 6, the third highest in the Smithsonian Institution's Volcanic Explosivity Index ranks of the largest volcanic explosions in recent geological history.
While at higher elevations cinder cones predominate, the western tip of the island is characterized by a series of basaltic tuff rings, of which the largest is about 1 kilometre (0.62 mi) in diameter. These were produced by phreatic eruptions when magma contacted the water table and water-saturated sediments along the coast.
Mount Benbow was named by Captain Cook after English Admiral John Benbow (1653–1702), whom Cook admired.
Since the last fissure eruption on 16 Dec 2018, the lake of molten Lava, for which Mount Marum and Mount Benbow have been famous, has disappeared. The volcanoes are inactive by now (Global Volcanism Program).
With the neighbor island of Malakula and a few smaller islands, Ambrym forms Malampa Province. The population of 7,275 inhabitants  lives mainly off coconut plantations in the three corners of the island.
Like many islands in Vanuatu, Ambrym has its own Austronesian languages. In the north is the North Ambrym language, in the southeast is the Southeast Ambrym language, in the south Daakaka language, in the west Lonwolwol language, and in the southwest Port Vato language. These are all spoken by a few hundred to a few thousand speakers each.
Towns and villagesEdit
- Fali, Craig Cove, Baiap, Sesivi, Port Vato, Bwele, Lalinda, Tow, Yaotilie, Sanesup, Emiotungan, Maranata and Pelibetakever
Tourists are attracted by Ambrym's active volcanoes, tropical vegetation, and the customs of the local villagers. They stay in traditional bungalows, as there are no hotels on the island.
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