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Report on Langila (Papua New Guinea) — March 2003


Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, vol. 28, no. 3 (March 2003)
Managing Editor: Edward Venzke.

Langila (Papua New Guinea) Large explosion on 18 January generates a dark ash column

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2003. Report on Langila (Papua New Guinea) (Venzke, E., ed.). Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, 28:3. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.BGVN200303-252010


Papua New Guinea

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

The summit area was obscured by rain and clouds on many days in January and February. During clear days (4-5, 8-16, 18-21, and 25 January; 1-9 and 13-17 February), Crater 2 released weak to moderate emissions of white and white-gray vapor. Occasional ash-laden gray-brown and forceful dark gray emissions were produced on 10 and 14 January, respectively. The forceful emissions on the 14th were accompanied by low roaring noises. On 18 January a large explosion produced a thick dark ash column that penetrated the atmospheric clouds over the summit area. Occasional white-gray and gray-brown ash-laden emissions were observed on 1-6 February. On 3 and 4 February the same vent forcefully ejected dark gray ash clouds. Night glow was observed at Crater 2 on 14 and 15 January; some of the glow on the 15th changed into weak incandescent lava projections. Variable weak to bright red glow was observed at night on 3-6 and 14 February. On 3 February the glow fluctuated. Low rumbling noises were only heard on 6 February. Crater 3 released thin white vapor gently on 9-10, 12-13, and 19 January, and during 3-4, 6-9, 14, and 16 February. No emissions were observed on other clear days. There was no seismic recording.

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: Ima Itikarai, Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO), P.O. Box 386, Rabaul, Papua New Guinea.