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Report on Manam (Papua New Guinea) — March 1991


Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, vol. 16, no. 3 (March 1991)
Managing Editor: Lindsay McClelland.

Manam (Papua New Guinea) Increased explosions and seismicity; slight inflation

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 1991. Report on Manam (Papua New Guinea) (McClelland, L., ed.). Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, 16:3. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.BGVN199103-251020


Papua New Guinea

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

"Activity was at a low level until early 25 March, when roaring and booming sounds from Main Crater were heard, and bright to weak pulsating glow was observed. The explosions were contained within the crater, which is several hundred meters deep.

"The stronger activity was reflected in the seismicity, with increased numbers and amplitudes of earthquakes (up to 850 events/day from an average of ~150/day for the preceding few weeks, and with amplitudes ~4x greater). Tiltmeter measurements showed a slight radial inflation of ~1-2 µrad. Southern Crater showed no response to the increased Main Crater activity and continued producing gentle white to pale-grey vapour (plus ash?) emissions."

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: C. McKee, RVO.