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  • Country
  • Volcanic Region
  • Primary Volcano Type
  • Last Known Eruption
  • 5.094°S
  • 150.094°E

  • 408 m
    1338 ft

  • 252040
  • Latitude
  • Longitude

  • Summit

  • Volcano

The Global Volcanism Program has no activity reports for Dakataua.

The Global Volcanism Program has no Weekly Reports available for Dakataua.

The Global Volcanism Program has no Bulletin Reports available for Dakataua.

Basic Data

Volcano Number

Last Known Eruption



1895 CE

408 m / 1338 ft


Volcano Types


Rock Types

Andesite / Basaltic Andesite
Basalt / Picro-Basalt

Tectonic Setting

Subduction zone
Continental crust (> 25 km)


Within 5 km
Within 10 km
Within 30 km
Within 100 km

Geological Summary

The 10.5 x 13.5 km Dakataua caldera, anchoring the northern tip of the Willaumez Peninsula, is one of New Britain's most dramatic volcanoes. A major submarine debris-avalanche deposit NE of the volcano may represent edifice collapse prior to caldera formation. The latest episode of caldera formation occurred as recently as about 1150 years ago, and was followed by at least five subplinian or vulcanian eruptions. A 12-km-wide, freshwater lake whose surface is only about 50 m above sea level occupies the caldera. Two vertical fault-bounded blocks form topographic highs at the western and eastern sides of the caldera. A N-S-trending line of post-caldera cones, explosion craters, and part of an arcuate inner caldera rim form a large peninsula that nearly bisects the horseshoe-shaped caldera lake. The peninsula includes the 350-m-high andesitic Mount Makalia stratovolcano, the largest of the post-caldera cones, which last erupted during the late-19th century. Thermal areas occur at several locations along the central peninsula.


The following references have all been used during the compilation of data for this volcano, it is not a comprehensive bibliography.

Branch C D, 1965. Volcanic activity at Lake Dakataua caldera, New Britain. Aust Bur Min Resour Geol Geophys Rec, 1965/67: 1-8.

Cooke R J S, Johnson R W, 1978. Volcanoes and volcanology in Papua New Guinea. Geol Surv Papua New Guinea Rpt, 78/2: 1-46.

Fisher N H, 1957. Melanesia. Catalog of Active Volcanoes of the World and Solfatara Fields, Rome: IAVCEI, 5: 1-105.

Lowder G G, Carmichael I S E, 1970. The volcanoes and caldera of Talasea, New Britain: geology and petrology. Geol Soc Amer Bull, 81: 17-38.

Machida H, Blong R J, Specht J, Moriwaki H, Torrence R, Hayakawa Y, Talai B, Lolok D, Pain C F, 1996. Holocene explosive eruptions of Witori and Dakatau caldera volcanoes in west New Britain, Papua New Guinea. Quat Internatl, 34-36: 65-78.

Newhall C G, Dzurisin D, 1988. Historical unrest at large calderas of the world. U S Geol Surv Bull, 1855: 1108 p, 2 vol.

Silver E, Day S, Ward S, Hoffmann G, Llanes P, Driscoll N, Appelgate B, Saunders S, 2009. Volcano collapse and tsunami generation in the Bismarck Volcanic Arc, Papua New Guinea. J Volc Geotherm Res, 186: 210-222.

Eruptive History

Summary of Holocene eruption dates and Volcanic Explosivity Indices (VEI).

Start Date Stop Date Eruption Certainty VEI Evidence Activity Area or Unit
1895 ± 5 years Unknown Confirmed 2 Anthropology Makalia
0800 ± 60 years Unknown Confirmed   Radiocarbon (uncorrected) D-Wn1 ?
0653 ± 18 years Unknown Confirmed 6 Radiocarbon (uncorrected) Dk

This compilation of synonyms and subsidiary features may not be comprehensive. Features are organized into four major categories: Cones, Craters, Domes, and Thermal Features. Synonyms of features appear indented below the primary name. In some cases additional feature type, elevation, or location details are provided.




Feature Name Feature Type Elevation Latitude Longitude
Inunumuri Cone 149 m 5° 2' 0" S 150° 6' 0" E
Lalala Cone 5° 1' 0" S 150° 6' 0" E
Langalanga, Mount Cone 400 m 5° 6' 0" S 150° 5' 0" E
Shield volcano 346 m 5° 34' 26" S 150° 6' 7" E


Feature Name Feature Type Elevation Latitude Longitude
Tunaumuri Maar 5° 4' 0" S 150° 5' 0" E
Twunamuri Maar 5° 4' 0" S 150° 5' 0" E

Photo Gallery

The youngest-known eruption of Dakataua caldera produced these cones on Mount Makalia, probably during the 1890's. The right-hand vent produced a lava flow, still only partly vegetated, that descends the eastern flank of Mount Makalia. The cones are located along a N-S-trending chain of cinder cones and maars that cuts across the 12-km-wide caldera lake.

Photo by Russell Blong, 1988 (Macquarie University).
This sparsely vegetated lava flow appears to be the youngest within Dakataua caldera. It may have been emplaced at the time of the latest known eruption, which took place during the 1890's from Mount Makalia, a post-caldera cone. Mount Makalia is one of several young volcanic features occupying a 7-km-long peninsula that nearly bisects the caldera lake.

Photo by Russell Blong, 1988 (Macquarie University).
The 10.5 x 13.5 km Dakataua caldera anchoring the northern tip of the Willaumez Peninsula is one of New Britain's most dramatic volcanoes. The latest episode of caldera formation occurred as recently as about 1150 years ago. A 12-km-wide, crocodile-infested freshwater lake (foreground), whose surface is only about 50 m above sea level, occupies the caldera. This view from the west shows two maars (right center) and Mount Makalia (upper left), which are located along a N-S-trending peninsula that nearly bisects the caldera lake.

Photo by Russell Blong, 1988 (Macquarie University).

Smithsonian Sample Collections Database

There are no samples for Dakataua in the Smithsonian's NMNH Department of Mineral Sciences Rock and Ore collection.

Affiliated Sites

Large Eruptions of Dakataua Information about large Quaternary eruptions (VEI >= 4) is cataloged in the Large Magnitude Explosive Volcanic Eruptions (LaMEVE) database of the Volcano Global Risk Identification and Analysis Project (VOGRIPA).
WOVOdat WOVOdat is a database of volcanic unrest; instrumentally and visually recorded changes in seismicity, ground deformation, gas emission, and other parameters from their normal baselines. It is sponsored by the World Organization of Volcano Observatories (WOVO) and presently hosted at the Earth Observatory of Singapore.
EarthChem EarthChem develops and maintains databases, software, and services that support the preservation, discovery, access and analysis of geochemical data, and facilitate their integration with the broad array of other available earth science parameters. EarthChem is operated by a joint team of disciplinary scientists, data scientists, data managers and information technology developers who are part of the NSF-funded data facility Integrated Earth Data Applications (IEDA). IEDA is a collaborative effort of EarthChem and the Marine Geoscience Data System (MGDS).
MODVOLC - HIGP MODIS Thermal Alert System Using infrared satellite Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) data, scientists at the Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology, University of Hawai'i, developed an automated system called MODVOLC to map thermal hot-spots in near real time. For each MODIS image, the algorithm automatically scans each 1 km pixel within it to check for high-temperature hot-spots. When one is found the date, time, location, and intensity are recorded. MODIS looks at every square km of the Earth every 48 hours, once during the day and once during the night, and the presence of two MODIS sensors in space allows at least four hot-spot observations every two days. Each day updated global maps are compiled to display the locations of all hot spots detected in the previous 24 hours. There is a drop-down list with volcano names which allow users to 'zoom-in' and examine the distribution of hot-spots at a variety of spatial scales.
MIROVA Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity (MIROVA) is a near real time volcanic hot-spot detection system based on the analysis of MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) data. In particular, MIROVA uses the Middle InfraRed Radiation (MIR), measured over target volcanoes, in order to detect, locate and measure the heat radiation sourced from volcanic activity.