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June 4, 2015
Mount Yasur Volcano, located on Tanna Island in Vanuatu, was formed by the westward movement of the Pacific tectonic plate and the subduction of the eastward moving Indo-Australian tectonic plate. The volcano is known for erupting several times an hour and is alleged to be the reason that Captain Cook was attracted to Tanna Island in 1774.
Mount Yasur Volcano has been continuously erupting for three years, sending out geysers of molten lava across the island’s skyline. Identified as a stratovolcano, Mount Yasur is a conical volcano composed of multiple hardened strata of larva, tephra, pumice and ash. The lava within the volcano poses little threat to the inhabitants of the island as it is highly viscous, and generally cools and hardens before it can travel very far. The Vanuatu Geo-Hazards Observatory continually monitors the volcano’s activity, assessing gas emissions and activity within the volcano.