Report on Langila (Papua New Guinea) — May 1982

Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, vol. 7, no. 5 (May 1982)
Managing Editor: Lindsay McClelland

Langila (Papua New Guinea) Explosive activity, lava flow and ashfalls

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 1982. Report on Langila (Papua New Guinea). In: McClelland, L (ed.), Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, 7:5. Smithsonian Institution.

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Papua New Guinea

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

"Following a period of moderately intensified explosive activity from Crater 2 in the second half of April, strong eruptive activity took place from this vent 2-16 May. During peak activity, 5-9 May, strong Strombolian activity was observed. Frequent ejections of bright red incandescent lava to maximum heights of 250-300 m above the crater were seen. An eruption column rose to about 4 km on 6-7 May. Ashfalls were experienced in inhabited areas about 10 km N and NW of the volcano during most of the first half of the month. The total thickness of these deposits was probably several millimeters.

"A significant event in this phase of Crater 2 activity was the production of a substantial lava flow. Several lobes developed NE of the crater, the largest extending to about 1 km in length. The volume of the flow is estimated to be 0.5-1.0 x 106 m3. Occasional Vulcanian explosions took place 17-31 May at Crater 2, and crater glow was seen once, on the 19th. Throughout the month Crater 3 emitted white and blue vapours at a low rate.

"Seismicity corresponded closely with the intensified visible activity. During the peak eruptive period seismic tremor was produced by the Strombolian explosive activity. As eruption intensity waned, discrete earthquakes associated with Vulcanian explosions at Crater 2 became prominent."

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: B. Talai and C. McKee, RVO.