Report on Ulawun (Papua New Guinea) — 28 August-3 September 2002
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 28 August-3 September 2002
Managing Editor: Gari Mayberry
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2002. Report on Ulawun (Papua New Guinea). In: Mayberry, G (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 28 August-3 September 2002. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
Papua New Guinea
5.05°S, 151.33°E; summit elev. 2334 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
The Darwin VAAC reported that on 28 August at 0732 a low-level ash cloud from an eruption at Ulawun was visible on satellite imagery. By 1532 the same day ash was no longer visible. According to a news article, ash eruptions had occurred on 26 August and during the previous week, but became larger on the 27th. As of the 28th, care centers were preparing for possible evacuations.
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. The 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 is unvegetated. A prominent E-W escarpment on the south may be the result of large-scale slumping. Satellitic cones occupy the NW and E flanks. A steep-walled valley cuts the NW side, 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.