Billy Mitchell

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  • Country
  • Volcanic Region
  • Primary Volcano Type
  • Last Known Eruption
  • 6.092°S
  • 155.225°E

  • 1544 m
    5064 ft

  • 255011
  • Latitude
  • Longitude

  • Summit
    Elevation

  • Volcano
    Number

The Global Volcanism Program has no activity reports for Billy Mitchell.

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Basic Data

Volcano Number

Last Known Eruption

Elevation

Latitude
Longitude
255011

1580 CE

1544 m / 5064 ft

6.092°S
155.225°E

Volcano Types

Pyroclastic shield
Caldera

Rock Types

Major
Andesite / Basaltic Andesite
Dacite

Tectonic Setting

Subduction zone
Crustal thickness unknown

Population

Within 5 km
Within 10 km
Within 30 km
Within 100 km
113
449
9,620
119,191

Geological Summary

Billy Mitchell, a small pyroclastic shield immediately NE of Bagana volcano, has produced some of the largest Holocene eruptions of Papua New Guinea. Andesitic-to-dacitic Billy Mitchell volcano is truncated by a 2-km-wide caldera containing a shallow lake with a small island near its southern shore. Two major explosive eruptions, one about 900 years ago and the other about 370 years ago, produced dacitic pyroclastic-fall deposits that cover most of the northern half of Bougainville Island. The younger eruption may have been responsible for formation of the nearly vertical, steep-walled summit caldera. Pyroclastic-flow and -surge deposits from Billy Mitchell extend 25 km to the eastern coast of Bougainville Island.

References

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

Blake D H, Miezitis Y, 1967. Geology of Bougainville and Buka Islands, New Guinea. Aust Bur Min Resour Geol Geophys Bull, 93: 1-56.

Johnson R W, 1992. (pers. comm.).

McKee C O, Johnson R W, Rogerson R, 1990. Explosive volcanism on Bougainville Island: ignimbrites, calderas, and volcanic hazards. Proc Pacific Rim Cong 1990, 2: 237-245.

McKee C O, Patia H, Johnson R W, 1988. Contrasting eruptive styles at the adjacent volcanoes Bagana and Billy Mitchell on Bouganville Island, Papua New Guinea. Proc Kagoshima Internatl Conf Volc, p 131-134.

Rogerson R J, Hilyard D B, Finlayson E J, Johnson R W, Mckee C O, 1989. The geology and mineral resources of Bougainville and Buka Islands, Papua New Guinea. Geol Surv Papua New Guinea Mem, no 16.

Eruptive History


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


Start Date Stop Date Eruption Certainty VEI Evidence Activity Area or Unit
1580 ± 20 years Unknown Confirmed 6 Radiocarbon (uncorrected)
1030 ± 25 years Unknown Confirmed 5 Radiocarbon (uncorrected)

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.


Cones

Feature Name Feature Type Elevation Latitude Longitude
Reini Stratovolcano 1694 m 6° 8' 0" S 155° 14' 0" E

Photo Gallery


The beautiful caldera lake of Billy Mitchell provides a dramatic setting for unvegetated Bagana volcano, one of the most active in Papua New Guinea. The Solomon Sea can be seen in the distance to the SW. Two major explosive eruptions from Billy Mitchell, one about 900 and the other about 370 years ago, produced pyroclastic-fall deposits that cover most of the northern half of Bougainville Island and pyroclastic-flow and -surge deposits that extend 25 km to the eastern coast. The younger eruption may have been responsible for formation of the summit caldera.

Photo by Wally Johnson, 1988 (Australia Bureau of Mineral Resources).
Billy Mitchell is a small pyroclastic shield truncated by a small 2-km-wide caldera containing a beautiful caldera lake. It is seen here from the north, with the eroded forested Reini volcano on the center horizon and neighboring Bagana volcano at the upper right. Billy Mitchell has been the source of some of the largest Holocene eruptions of Papua New Guinea. Two major explosive eruptions, one about 900 years ago and the other about 370 years ago, produced pyroclastic-fall deposits that cover most of the northern half of Bougainville Island.

Photo by Wally Johnson, 1989 (Australia Bureau of Mineral Resources).
Much of the left side of this NASA image with north to the upper left is covered by volcanic products from Tore volcano in the Emperor Range on NW Bougainville Island. The Tore massif lies to the left of the light-colored area at the center of the image, Balbi volcano. Two Pleistocene ignimbrites from Tore formed a broad fan that extends the coastline to the west (lower left). The dark-colored caldera lake of Billy Mitchell volcano is at the right, above an ash plume originating from Bagana volcano.

NASA Space Shuttle image ISS001-358-32, 2001 (http://eol.jsc.nasa.gov/).

Smithsonian Sample Collections Database


A listing of samples from the Smithsonian collections will be available soon.

Affiliated Sites

Large Eruptions of Billy Mitchell 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.