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Report on Langila (Papua New Guinea) — August 1983


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

Langila (Papua New Guinea) More, stronger explosions; ashfalls to 10 km

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 1983. Report on Langila (Papua New Guinea) (McClelland, L., ed.). Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, 8:8. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.SEAN198308-252010


Papua New Guinea

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

"A definite strengthening of Vulcanian activity at Crater 2 has been observed since late June. This phase of activity is the strongest since January-February.

"On most days in August ash-laden vapour emissions from Crater 2 were blown down the volcano's flanks by strong winds, obscuring both the active vent and Crater 3. Strong activity in the first 8 days of the month consisted of up to 15 Vulcanian explosions per day, and periods of harmonic tremor recorded 4-8 August. Light to moderate ashfalls were common in coastal inhabited areas about 10 km NW and N. A decline of activity was observed 9-20 August as emissions became less voluminous and less ash-rich, and sound effects were heard less frequently. Occasional explosion earthquakes were recorded. More frequent Vulcanian explosions, loud sound effects, and ashfalls resumed on 21 August.

"In contrast to activity in January and February 1983, when incandescent lava ejections took place, the more explosive activity at Crater 2 in August was rarely accompanied by incandescence. Weak crater glow was observed on only 2 nights (17 and 29 August). Crater 3 remained relatively inactive, usually releasing thin white vapours."

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 and P. de Saint Ours, RVO.