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Report on Langila (Papua New Guinea) — May 1980


Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, vol. 5, no. 5 (May 1980)
Managing Editor: David Squires.

Langila (Papua New Guinea) Eruption continues with tephra and small base surge; lava flow stops

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 1980. Report on Langila (Papua New Guinea) (Squires, D., ed.). Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, 5:5. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.SEAN198005-252010


Papua New Guinea

5.525°S, 148.42°E; summit elev. 1330 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

"The eruption continued at moderate to low intensity. From the observation post about [10] km away, roaring, rumbling and detonations, were heard almost incessantly. Small Vulcanian explosions were occasionally observed from the active vent in Crater 3 (formed on 19 January).

"During a ground inspection on 8 May, detailed observation of several explosions revealed that blocks were commonly ejected to a height of about 600 m, accompanied by loud roaring. The concluding stages of explosions were characterized by streaming of translucent vapour followed by conspicuous emission of blue vapour. A larger explosion on 9 May produced a small base surge which traveled about 300 m W, leaving a pale brown deposit.

"The 1980 lava flow is blocky, and similar in hand specimen to lavas produced in the 1970's. The lava flow had ceased moving, and its length was about 800-1,000 m. Since it was first observed in February, three distinct lobes have entered adjacent valleys, the E lobe being the longest. A preliminary estimate of flow volume is 3 x 105 m3."

Geological Summary. Langila, one of the most active volcanoes of New Britain, consists of a group of four small overlapping composite basaltic-andesitic cones on the lower E flank of the extinct Talawe volcano in the Cape Gloucester area of NW New Britain. A rectangular, 2.5-km-long crater is breached widely to the SE; Langila was constructed NE of the breached crater of Talawe. An extensive lava field reaches the coast on the N and NE sides of Langila. Frequent mild-to-moderate explosive eruptions, sometimes accompanied by lava flows, have been recorded since the 19th century from three active craters at the summit. The youngest and smallest crater (no. 3 crater) was formed in 1960 and has a diameter of 150 m.

Information Contacts: B. Scott and C. McKee, RVO.