Report on Ulawun (Papua New Guinea) — 26 February-4 March 2003

Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 26 February-4 March 2003
Managing Editor: Gari Mayberry

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2003. Report on Ulawun (Papua New Guinea). In: Mayberry, G (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 26 February-4 March 2003. 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)


Volcanic and seismic activity remained at low levels during 17-26 February at Ulawun, with the emission of low-to-moderate volumes of steam. There were no emissions from the north valley vent. Heavy rain on 19, 21, 22, and 24 February led to the reactivation of mudflows on Ulawun's flanks. Residents in the affected areas were evacuated.

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-trending 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.

Source: Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO) via the Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Center