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Report on Manam (Papua New Guinea) — August 1983


Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, vol. 8, no. 8 (August 1983)
Managing Editor: Lindsay McClelland.

Manam (Papua New Guinea) Emissions increase slightly; B-type events continue

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 1983. Report on Manam (Papua New Guinea) (McClelland, L., ed.). Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, 8:8. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.SEAN198308-251020


Papua New Guinea

4.08°S, 145.037°E; summit elev. 1807 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

"A slight intensification of the moderate eruptive activity at Southern crater took place in the second half of August. Activity at Main crater remained essentially unchanged from July. In the first half of August a pale grey or brownish plume of moderate volume was produced at Southern crater, accompanied by blue emissions. Similar emissions were released from Main crater, although in lesser amounts. Seismic recordings in this period indicate a daily average of about 2,000 B-type earthquakes of small amplitude.

"From about 16 August, brown or dark grey ash clouds were ejected from Southern crater. These convoluting ash-laden clouds usually rose 100-200 m over the crater rim. Daily totals of B-type earthquakes increased to as many as 2,800 events, of slightly larger amplitude. Crater glow and sprays of incandescent lava fragments were observed on 27 and 28 August, rising to 150-200 m above Southern crater at 2-3-minute intervals. Weak glow at Main crater was observed on 28 August. Near the end of the month the daily totals of B-type events declined to about 2,300. No significant tilts were registered by the water-tube tiltmeters at Tabele Observatory."

Geological Summary. The 10-km-wide island of Manam, lying 13 km off the northern coast of mainland Papua New Guinea, is one of the country's most active volcanoes. Four large radial valleys extend from the unvegetated summit of the conical basaltic-andesitic stratovolcano to its lower flanks. These valleys channel lava flows and pyroclastic avalanches that have sometimes reached the coast. Five small satellitic centers are located near the island's shoreline on the northern, southern, and western sides. Two summit craters are present; both are active, although most observed eruptions have originated from the southern crater, concentrating eruptive products during much of the past century into the SE valley. Frequent eruptions, typically of mild-to-moderate scale, have been recorded since 1616. Occasional larger eruptions have produced pyroclastic flows and lava flows that reached flat-lying coastal areas and entered the sea, sometimes impacting populated areas.

Information Contacts: C. McKee and P. de Saint Ours, RVO.