Report on Ulawun (Papua New Guinea) — October 1985

Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, vol. 10, no. 10 (October 1985)
Managing Editor: Lindsay McClelland.

Ulawun (Papua New Guinea) Eruption produces slow-moving lava flows

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 1985. Report on Ulawun (Papua New Guinea). In: McClelland, L (ed.), Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, 10:10. Smithsonian Institution. http://dx.doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.SEAN198510-252120.

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Ulawun

Papua New Guinea

5.05°S, 151.33°E; summit elev. 2334 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


On 17 November, Ulawun began to erupt ash and lava, producing two slow-moving lava flows. On 21 November, one flow was moving N of the summit; the other to the NW. Officials issued evacuation warnings to the [area's] 700 inhabitants, although there was no immediate danger.

Geologic Background. The symmetrical basaltic-to-andesitic Ulawun stratovolcano is the highest volcano of the Bismarck arc, and one of Papua New Guinea's most frequently active. Ulawun volcano, also known as the Father, rises above the north coast of the island of New Britain across a low saddle NE of Bamus volcano, the South Son. The upper 1000 m of the 2334-m-high Ulawun volcano is unvegetated. A prominent E-W-trending escarpment on the south may be the result of large-scale slumping. Satellitic cones occupy the NW and eastern flanks. A steep-walled valley cuts the NW side of Ulawun volcano, and a flank lava-flow complex lies to the south of this valley. Historical eruptions date back to the beginning of the 18th century. Twentieth-century eruptions were mildly explosive until 1967, but after 1970 several larger eruptions produced lava flows and basaltic pyroclastic flows, greatly modifying the summit crater.

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