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Report on Langila (Papua New Guinea) — December 1981


Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, vol. 6, no. 12 (December 1981)
Managing Editor: Lindsay McClelland.

Langila (Papua New Guinea) Strong explosions continue; incandescent tephra

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 1981. Report on Langila (Papua New Guinea) (McClelland, L., ed.). Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, 6:12. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.SEAN198112-252010


Papua New Guinea

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

"Strong eruptive activity continued during December although a decline was apparent in the last week of the month. Activity was centred at Crater 2, which produced dark brown or dark grey tephra emissions throughout December. On several days in the first half of the month the emissions were reported as being thick. Significant ashfalls at inhabited areas about 10 km to the N and W occurred 6, 8-12, 14, 17, 22, and 29 December. Sounds of explosions and rumbling were heard 1-14 December, and detonations were frequent 9-10 and 15-17 December. Incandescent tephra ejections or crater glow were seen 1-4, 8, 13-18, and 20 December. Dark emissions from Crater 3 were observed once (on 1 December); otherwise, the only products from this crater were white and blue vapours. Seismic activity showed a good correlation with visible activity. Periods of stronger visible activity were usually accompanied by large-amplitude volcanic earthquakes and periods of harmonic tremor."

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.