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Report on Ulawun (Papua New Guinea) — September 1983


Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, vol. 8, no. 9 (September 1983)
Managing Editor: Lindsay McClelland.

Ulawun (Papua New Guinea) Gas measurements on 11 September

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 1983. Report on Ulawun (Papua New Guinea) (McClelland, L., ed.). Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, 8:9. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.SEAN198309-252120


Papua New Guinea

5.05°S, 151.33°E; summit elev. 2334 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

[Richard Stoiber, Stanley Williams, and Chris McKee used a COSPEC to measure the rate of SO2 emission from several volcanoes in Papua New Guinea during September (table 1). Plumes at and Manam were strong, and plume was small. Activity at Langila was weak 11 September, but had intensified during measurements the next day. The quiet-phase data were collected from the ground; all other data were acquired while flying under the plumes.]

Table 1. Rates of SO2 emission at Bagana, Langila, Manam, and Ulawun, Papua New Guinea, September 1983. Airborne COSPEC data from R. Stoiber, S. Williams, and C. McKee.

Date Volcano SO2 t/d
08 Sep 1983 Bagana 3,100
11 Sep 1983 Langila 74
11 Sep 1983 Ulawun 71
12 Sep 1983 Langila 1,300
12 Sep 1983 Manam 920

Geological Summary. The symmetrical basaltic-to-andesitic Ulawun stratovolcano is the highest volcano of the Bismarck arc, and one of Papua New Guinea's most frequently active. The volcano, also known as the Father, rises above the N coast of the island of New Britain across a low saddle NE of Bamus volcano, the South Son. The upper 1,000 m is unvegetated. A prominent E-W escarpment on the south may be the result of large-scale slumping. Satellitic cones occupy the NW and E flanks. A steep-walled valley cuts the NW side, and a flank lava-flow complex lies to the south of this valley. Historical eruptions date back to the beginning of the 18th century. Twentieth-century eruptions were mildly explosive until 1967, but after 1970 several larger eruptions produced lava flows and basaltic pyroclastic flows, greatly modifying the summit crater.

Information Contacts: C. McKee, RVO; R. Stoiber and S. Williams, Dartmouth College.