Report on Ulawun (Papua New Guinea) — 11 July-17 July 2001

Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 11 July-17 July 2001
Managing Editor: Gari Mayberry

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2001. Report on Ulawun (Papua New Guinea). In: Mayberry, G (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 11 July-17 July 2001. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

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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)


A news report on 9 July stated that residents who were evacuated from their homes near Ulawun were permitted to return home. They were evacuated in May after the occurrence of relatively high seismic activity and an eruption in April. On 14 June, almost a month before the news report was published, the Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO) recommended that the Alert Level be reduced to 1. At this stage of alert people could move back to their homes with the approval of the local disaster committee, but many residents were hesitant to return and opted to stay in care centers. After the aforementioned news article was published some people returned home and RVO expects more people to return to their villages in the coming weeks.

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.

Sources: Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO), The National