Report on Manam (Papua New Guinea) — June 1999
Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, vol. 24, no. 6 (June 1999)
Managing Editor: Richard Wunderman.
Manam (Papua New Guinea) Ashfalls and infrequent explosions
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 1999. Report on Manam (Papua New Guinea). In: Wunderman, R. (ed.), Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, 24:6. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.BGVN199906-251020.
Papua New Guinea
4.08°S, 145.037°E; summit elev. 1807 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
Mild to weak eruptive activity from Main Crater continued in May and June. During May there were small to moderate pale gray ash emissions. Ash clouds then rose 500-600 m above the summit before being blown NW with resulting light ashfall on 1, 22, 26-27, and 31 May. A slight wind change on 15 and 25 May caused the ash clouds to drift SW and the ashfall to move downwind. There were no noises or night glow observed in May. A weak, steady glow was visible between 2 and 5 May.
Although Southern Crater was generally quiet with only thin white emissions, a small explosion took place on 10 June. A weak discharge of lava fragments accompanied loud noises that lasted only a short time. Later, on 26 June, Main Crater vented gray-brown ash clouds resulting in ash fall over some parts of the island.
During May-June, seismicity remained low. Evidence for deformation was absent at the water-tube tiltmeter located at Tabele Observatory, 4 km from the summit on the SW flank.
Inhabitants of the 10-km-wide island of Manam reside on one of Papua New Guinea's most active volcanoes. Four large radial valleys extend from the unvegetated summit of the conical stratovolcano to its lower flanks. These "avalanche valleys," regularly spaced 90 degrees apart, channel lava flows and pyroclastic avalanches that have sometimes reached the coast. Five satellitic centers are located near the island's shoreline. Two summit craters are present and both are active, although most historical eruptions have originated from the southern crater and drained into the SE avalanche valley. Frequent historical eruptions have been recorded since 1616.
More recent activity began in December 1956 and lasted through January 1966. Lava flows and a nuee ardente from the South Crater occurred in June and December 1974, and intermittent moderate explosive activity has continued into 1993, with peaks of activity in 1982 and 1984.
Geologic Background. The 10-km-wide island of Manam, lying 13 km off the northern coast of mainland Papua New Guinea, is one of the country's most active volcanoes. Four large radial valleys extend from the unvegetated summit of the conical 1807-m-high basaltic-andesitic stratovolcano to its lower flanks. These "avalanche valleys" channel lava flows and pyroclastic avalanches that have sometimes reached the coast. Five small satellitic centers are located near the island's shoreline on the northern, southern, and western sides. Two summit craters are present; both are active, although most historical eruptions have originated from the southern crater, concentrating eruptive products during much of the past century into the SE valley. Frequent historical eruptions, typically of mild-to-moderate scale, have been recorded since 1616. Occasional larger eruptions have produced pyroclastic flows and lava flows that reached flat-lying coastal areas and entered the sea, sometimes impacting populated areas.
Information Contacts: Ben Talai, Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO), P.O. Box 386, Rabaul, Papua New Guinea.