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Report on Manam (Papua New Guinea) — November 1991


Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, vol. 16, no. 11 (November 1991)
Managing Editor: Lindsay McClelland.

Manam (Papua New Guinea) Weak ash emission continues but incandescent tephra ejection stops; little deformation

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 1991. Report on Manam (Papua New Guinea) (McClelland, L., ed.). Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, 16:11. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.BGVN199111-251020


Papua New Guinea

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

Low levels of activity persisted in September-November, with weak white vapor emissions from Main Crater, and occasional gray ash emissions from Southern Crater. Incandescent tephra rose to ~50 m above the rim on 12 September, and to 80-120 m height on 17, 19, 21, and 23 October. No night glow was observed in November. Occasional weak rumbling noises were heard during October, and on 14, 20, and 24-25 November. Fine ashfall was reported on parts of the island on 18, 23-24, and 26-28 October; less-intense ash emissions occurred during the first half of September and the second half of November. Seismic activity remained at moderate levels, decreasing slightly in September, with small increases noted in mid-October and 10-12 November.

"A survey of Manam was carried out on 12 November. Changes along the EDM lines radial to the 1,750-m-high cone since the last survey (November 1990) were inconclusive, but could be interpreted as reflecting a slight deflation of the N flank (i.e. around Main Crater, the activity of which has markedly declined since a short period of stronger activity there in March-April 1991) and a slight inflation of the SW flank (i.e. around the mildly active Southern Crater). Dry-tilt stations are apparently too low on the flanks of the volcano to record significant changes. Overall, these ground deformation results reflect the low level of intermittent activity at the volcano over the last few years."

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: B. Talai and C. McKee, RVO.