Report on Bagana (Papua New Guinea) — 28 April-4 May 2004
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 28 April-4 May 2004
Managing Editor: Gari Mayberry
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2004. Report on Bagana (Papua New Guinea). In: Mayberry, G (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 28 April-4 May 2004. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
Papua New Guinea
6.137°S, 155.196°E; summit elev. 1855 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
According to a news article, following the emission of new lava from Bagana on 27 April, local volcanologists and a team of provincial disaster delegates conducted an aerial inspection of the area around the volcano on 2 May. The team concluded that the lava flows were not an immediate threat to the safety of villagers near the volcano. A spokesperson for Papua New Guinea's national Disaster Center reportedly said, "the aerial inspection team noted a continual effusion of lava flowing in a south-westerly direction but there is a lot of vegetation in the area which is acting as a buffer."
Geologic Background. Bagana volcano, occupying a remote portion of central Bougainville Island, is one of Melanesia's youngest and most active volcanoes. This massive symmetrical cone was largely constructed by an accumulation of viscous andesitic lava flows. The entire edifice could have been constructed in about 300 years at its present rate of lava production. Eruptive activity is frequent and characterized by non-explosive effusion of viscous lava that maintains a small lava dome in the summit crater, although explosive activity occasionally producing pyroclastic flows also occurs. Lava flows form dramatic, freshly preserved tongue-shaped lobes up to 50 m thick with prominent levees that descend the flanks on all sides.