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Report on Manam (Papua New Guinea) — May 1989


Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, vol. 14, no. 5 (May 1989)
Managing Editor: Lindsay McClelland.

Manam (Papua New Guinea) Two small ashfalls; seismicity declines

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 1989. Report on Manam (Papua New Guinea) (McClelland, L., ed.). Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, 14:5. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.SEAN198905-251020


Papua New Guinea

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

"Activity . . . remained at a low level during May. Southern Crater emitted white-grey vapour and ash clouds at weak rates during the first half of the month and mostly white vapour during the second half. Blue vapours were released 15, 16, and 18 May. Weak, deep, rumbling noises were heard throughout the first half of May and on the 29th and 31st. Emissions on the 7th and 18th produced light ashfalls on the island's E side. Weak incandescent projections were seen on the 1st. Main Crater's activity consisted of occasional weak emissions of white vapour.

"Seismicity had remained at a 'normal' inter-eruptive level of ~1,100 ± 200 small events/day since August 1988. During the 2nd and 3rd weeks of May, seismicity decreased slightly to ~600 events/day. Tilt measurements showed no corresponding changes."

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: H. Patia and C. McKee, RVO.