Report on Ulawun (Papua New Guinea) — 2 November-8 November 2016
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 2 November-8 November 2016
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2016. Report on Ulawun (Papua New Guinea). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 2 November-8 November 2016. 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)
RVO reported that during 16-31 October activity at Ulawun was at low levels. Gray and white plumes with varying densities rose 100-200 m above the summit crater and drifted SW, NW, and NE. Low rumbling was heard on 24 October. Based on analyses of satellite imagery, the Darwin VAAC reported that on 7 November an ash plume rose to an altitude of 3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted over 45 km E.
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.
Sources: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC), Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO)