Report on Langila (Papua New Guinea) — January 2016

Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, vol. 41, no. 1 (January 2016)
Managing Editor: Edward Venzke. Report research and preparation by: Paul Berger.

Langila (Papua New Guinea) Ash plumes rise to an altitude of 1.5-2.1 km in December 2012

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2016. Report on Langila (Papua New Guinea). In: Venzke, E (ed.), Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, 41:1. Smithsonian Institution.

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Langila

Papua New Guinea

5.525°S, 148.42°E; summit elev. 1330 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


After an eruption in September 2009, activity at Langila subsided, yet still remained above normal through at least February 2010, with ash plumes rising about 1 km or less above the summit (BGVN 35:02). No additional activity was reported until 1 December 2012, when, according to the Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC), a pilot observed an ash plume at an altitude of 1.5 km. Ash was not detected in satellite imagery. The Darwin VAAC reported that another ash plume was seen in MTSAT-2 visible imagery on 5 December that rose to an altitude of 2.1 km and drifted 110 km NW. Elevated sulfur dioxide concentrations were also detected in OMI (Ozone Monitoring Instrument) satellite data.

Few thermal anomalies, based on MODIS satellite instruments analyzed using the MODVOLC algorithm, were identified during the reporting period (March 2010-December 2012). Weak thermal anomalies were reported 24 July 2010 and 21 July 2012, but they were well down the NE flank, and not likely related to volcanism. One of two 28 July 2011 weak anomalies were located close to the crater, but the other was further NE. Seven stronger anomalies were detected in December 2012 on the 9th (1 pixel), 11th (1), 18th (1), 23rd (3), and 25th (1); the pixels identified during 9-23 December were close to the active crater.

Geologic Background. Langila, one of the most active volcanoes of New Britain, consists of a group of four small overlapping composite basaltic-andesitic cones on the lower eastern flank of the extinct Talawe volcano. Talawe is the highest volcano in the Cape Gloucester area of NW New Britain. A rectangular, 2.5-km-long crater is breached widely to the SE; Langila volcano was constructed NE of the breached crater of Talawe. An extensive lava field reaches the coast on the north and NE sides of Langila. Frequent mild-to-moderate explosive eruptions, sometimes accompanied by lava flows, have been recorded since the 19th century from three active craters at the summit of Langila. The youngest and smallest crater (no. 3 crater) was formed in 1960 and has a diameter of 150 m.

Information Contacts: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC), Bureau of Meteorology, Northern Territory Regional Office, PO Box 40050, Casuarina, NT 0811, Australia (URL: http://www.bom.gov.au/info/vaac/ ); Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO), PO Box 386, Rabaul, Papua New Guinea (Email: hguria@global.net.pg); Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP) Thermal Alerts System, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST), Univ. of Hawai'i, 2525 Correa Road, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA (URL: http://hotspot.higp.hawaii.edu/).