Tanna’s Yasur volcano yields valuable information about volcanic bombs

Researchers in front of a volcanic explosion at Yasur volcano in Vanuatu, which is ejecting volcanic ballistic projectiles and a small ash plume. Photo: AGU's Eos/Marco Albano

Researchers in front of a volcanic explosion at Yasur volcano in Vanuatu, which is ejecting volcanic ballistic projectiles and a small ash plume. Photo: AGU’s Eos/Marco Albano

A recent paper in Reviews of Geophysics revealed new insights into the flight patterns of solid and molten debris flung out of volcanos during explosive eruptions, writes Jacopo Taddeucci in Eos:

“When volcanos erupt they can spew out a range of substances from viscous lava and hot gas to ash clouds and rock fragments, each of which behave in different ways. A recent review article published in Reviews of Geophysics focused on the larger fragments of solid and molten material ejected from volcanos, and described an innovative new study of the flight paths of these projectiles.”

Read the full story at Eos >


Lapita people are ancestors to all Ni-Vanuatu, finds latest DNA study

Our ancestors: a Lapita skeleton buried with three other skulls at Teouma

Ol bubu blong yumi: a Lapita skeleton buried with three other skulls at Teouma, Efate

A major academic paper has been published online in Nature, the top scientific journal in the world, which solves many questions of the origins of Pacific peoples, including the people of Vanuatu.

The study, titled ‘Genomic insights into the peopling of the Southwest Pacific‘ (paywall), is based on a revolutionary study of ancient DNA from the Lapita skeletons from Teouma found during the 2004 to 2010 archaeological dig there. There are 31 authors to the paper, led by Pontus Skoglund of Harvard University.

It turns out the foundation population of Vanuatu probably came directly from Taiwan or the northern Philippines,  bypassing New Guinea and the Solomon Islands without mixing with the Australo-Papuan people already living there.

All Ni-Vanuatu descend from these first migrants and their later intermarriage with mixed Asian-Papuan groups who came down from the New Guinea and Solomon Islands. There are Asian Lapita genes in every Ni-Vanuatu, the mark of their earliest ancestors.

The original archaeological research carried out at Teouma was in response to damage to the site from soil quarrying for the prawn farm. The bulldozers had revealed skeletons and broken Lapita pots dating to almost 3,000 years ago. Read the rest of this entry »


Vidéo : Aires marines taboues du Vanuatu

Regardez cette nouvelle vidéo de L’Institut de recherche pour le développement (IRD) Nouvelle-Calédonie sur les zones marines tabous au Vanuatu.

Read the rest of this entry »


Vanua Lava, Vanuatu, Earth, Milky Way, Solar System, Universe

The Earth photographed from the International Space Station, 398km above Vanua Lava, 10:28pm, 19 May 2015. Photo: International Space Station

Animation of Earth photographed from the International Space Station, 398km above Vanua Lava, 10:28pm, 19 May 2015. Click the image for a high-resolution version. Photo: International Space Station


New York scientists receive a botany lesson from Tannese schoolkids

nybg01By Stevenson Swanson, The New York Botanical Garden

Of all the far-flung places that scientists from The New York Botanical Garden explore, one of the farthest in terms of distance and culture is Vanuatu, an island nation in the South Pacific with a population of about 225,000 people spread over 65 islands and speaking more than 113 indigenous languages.

Read the rest of this entry »