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Report on Langila (Papua New Guinea) — October 1981


Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, vol. 6, no. 10 (October 1981)
Managing Editor: Lindsay McClelland.

Langila (Papua New Guinea) New lava flow, incandescent tephra, ash emission

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 1981. Report on Langila (Papua New Guinea) (McClelland, L., ed.). Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, 6:10. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.SEAN198110-252010


Papua New Guinea

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

"Eruptive activity intensified in October when Crater 3 became strongly active, emitting incandescent tephra and a new lava flow. After a brief interval of ash emission on 3 October, Crater 3 began a sustained period of explosive activity on 9 October. Ejections of incandescent tephra were seen on 15 October and continued from 17 October throughout the month. The production of a new lava flow from Crater 3 was suspected on 27 October and confirmed on the 28th. The flow rate was apparently low.

"Activity at Crater 2 may have declined since late September. Vulcanian explosions occurred at intervals of several days, and periods of less-explosive ash emission were observed at the beginning and end of October. At other times, Crater 2 released white and blue vapours. Crater 2 glow was observed on 1, 3, 17, and 18 October.

"Ashfalls were reported in inhabited areas about 10 km N and W of the volcano on about 50% of days during the first half of October. Seismicity remained at a fairly low level, consisting mainly of numerous small events probably originating from Crater 3."

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: C. McKee, RVO.