Report on Lamington (Papua New Guinea) — 17 April-23 April 2002
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 17 April-23 April 2002
Managing Editor: Gari Mayberry
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2002. Report on Lamington (Papua New Guinea). In: Mayberry, G (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 17 April-23 April 2002. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
Papua New Guinea
8.95°S, 148.15°E; summit elev. 1680 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
The Darwin VAAC stated on 24 April that reports of an eruption at Lamington on 22 April were false. Based on information from Geoscience Australia and satellite imagery, the Darwin VAAC originally reported that an E-drifting ash cloud from Lamington seemed to be evident on satellite imagery on 22 April at 1741. Thunderstorms near the volcano made it difficult to locate possible ash on satellite imagery. On 23 April at 1135 a flight service reported that no volcanic activity was observed at Lamington. A team from the Rabaul Volcano Observatory is investigating rumors of activity at the volcano.
Geologic Background. Lamington is an andesitic stratovolcano with a 1.3-km-wide breached summit crater containing a lava dome. Prior to its renowned devastating eruption in 1951, the forested peak had not been recognized as a volcano. Mount Lamington rises above the coastal plain north of the Owen Stanley Range. A summit complex of lava domes and crater remnants tops a low-angle base of volcaniclastic deposits dissected by radial valleys. A prominent broad "avalanche valley" extends northward from the breached crater. Ash layers from two early Holocene eruptions have been identified. After a long quiescent period, the volcano suddenly became active in 1951, producing a powerful explosive eruption during which devastating pyroclastic flows and surges swept all sides of the volcano, killing nearly 3000 people. The eruption concluded with growth of a 560-m-high lava dome in the summit crater.