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Report on Langila (Papua New Guinea) — December 1983


Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, vol. 8, no. 12 (December 1983)
Managing Editor: Lindsay McClelland.

Langila (Papua New Guinea) Tephra to 2.7 km height; small lava flow

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 1983. Report on Langila (Papua New Guinea) (McClelland, L., ed.). Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, 8:12. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.SEAN198312-252010


Papua New Guinea

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

"Vulcanian activity continued from Crater 2 with a pronounced increase toward the end of the month that culminated in the production of a small lava flow on the NE flank.

"From 1-20 December, activity consisted of occasional emissions of white-grey tephra rising to 0.6-1.2 km above the summit, accompanied by weak to low rumbling noises and explosions. Glow was visible 12-14 December, with ejection of glowing fragments to 270 m on the 13th. Fine ashfalls occurred 10 km to the N on 6, 7, 11, and 15 December.

"From 21-27 December, activity became much stronger, with continuous ejection of thick tephra-laden vapour to 1.8-2.7 km above the summit accompanied by continuous loud rumbling and explosion sounds. Continuous glow and ejections of lava fragments were observed at night with overflow of lava to the NE 23-28 December. This was accompanied by long periods of continuous harmonic tremor which increased in amplitude during the periods of maximum activity. Crater 3 remained inactive throughout, with only weak emissions of white vapour."

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: P. Lowenstein, RVO.