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Report on Manam (Papua New Guinea) — January 1984


Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, vol. 9, no. 1 (January 1984)
Managing Editor: Lindsay McClelland.

Manam (Papua New Guinea) Strombolian activity; explosion cloud to 3.5 km

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 1984. Report on Manam (Papua New Guinea) (McClelland, L., ed.). Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, 9:1. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.SEAN198401-251020


Papua New Guinea

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

"The eruptive activity continued through January. It consisted of night glow at both Main and Southern craters, and frequent Strombolian ejections of glowing lava fragments up to several hundred meters above Southern crater. Explosion noises and sub-continuous rumbling sounds were heard. Scoria and bombs ejected from Southern crater avalanched down the SW and SE valleys.

"Beginning 13 January, the amplitude of recorded B-type earthquakes started to increase considerably, although their number remained about 2,000/day. From 18-26 January, the amplitudes of events increased to about four times normal. At 1155 on 26 January, a large explosion from Southern crater produced a voluminous, dark ash-laden plume rising to 3.5 km. The amplitude of the sub-continuous tremor and B-type events then returned rapidly to normal. Up to 3 mm of ash were deposited on the coastal areas. For the remainder of January, the Strombolian activity continued at the same level as at the beginning of the month."

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: P. Lowenstein, RVO.