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Report on Langila (Papua New Guinea) — February 1985


Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, vol. 10, no. 2 (February 1985)
Managing Editor: Lindsay McClelland.

Langila (Papua New Guinea) Ash clouds and glowing tephra mark new eruptive phase

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 1985. Report on Langila (Papua New Guinea) (McClelland, L., ed.). Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, 10:2. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.SEAN198502-252010


Papua New Guinea

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

"Activity intensified in February after being at a very low level for about 1 year. Several large Vulcanian explosions at Crater 2 in late January marked the commencement of this new eruptive phase. Explosions occurred at rates of up to about 20 per day in February. The largest explosions produced eruption columns reportedly about 3-4 km high. No significant ashfalls took place in inhabited areas. Weak glow was frequently observed from Crater 2 up to about mid-February, and ballistic incandescent lava fragments were seen at the bases of some eruption columns. Seismicity accompanying this activity not only included the usual discrete explosion earthquakes, but also a number of periods of harmonic tremor, thought to be caused by sequences of prolonged gas discharge at Crater 2. Crater 3 remains inactive, except for mild fumarolic activity from the crater walls."

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, RVO.