Report on Langila (Papua New Guinea) — September 1983

Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, vol. 8, no. 9 (September 1983)
Managing Editor: Lindsay McClelland

Langila (Papua New Guinea) Explosions, tremor from gas venting; glow seen twice

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 1983. Report on Langila (Papua New Guinea). In: McClelland, L (ed.), Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, 8:9. 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)

"Explosive eruptive activity continued at Crater 2, and was stronger 2-6 September. Up to 12 explosions per day were recorded, and periods of strong volcanic tremor were produced by prolonged gas venting. Activity declined 8-11 September, but re-intensified on the 12th. Moderate activity persisted for the remainder of the month, including patchy and weak tremor and 1-9 explosions per day. Weak red glow was observed over Crater 2 on 25 and 29 September. Light to heavy ashfalls were common in coastal inhabited areas about 10 km to the NW and N."

[Richard Stoiber, Stanley Williams, and Chris McKee used a COSPEC to measure the rate of SO2 emission from several volcanoes in Papua New Guinea during September (table 2). Plumes at and Manam were strong, and plume was small. Activity at Langila was weak 11 September, but had intensified during measurements the next day. The quiet-phase data were collected from the ground; all other data were acquired while flying under the plumes.]

Table 2. Rates of SO2 emission at Bagana, Langila, Manam, and Ulawun, Papua New Guinea, September 1983. Airborne COSPEC data from R. Stoiber, S. Williams, and C. McKee.

[Skip text table]
    Volcano    Date     t/d SO2

    Bagana     08 Sep    3,100
    Langila    11 Sep       74
               12 Sep    1,300
    Manam      12 Sep      920
    Ulawun     11 Sep       71

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: C. McKee, RVO; R. Stoiber and S. Williams, Dartmouth College.