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Report on Manam (Papua New Guinea) — August 2007


Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, vol. 32, no. 8 (August 2007)
Managing Editor: Richard Wunderman.

Manam (Papua New Guinea) Mild eruptions and subdued seismicity during August 2006-May 2007

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2007. Report on Manam (Papua New Guinea) (Wunderman, R., ed.). Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, 32:8. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.BGVN200708-251020


Papua New Guinea

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

Our previous Manam report (BGVN 37:04) discussed activity from August 2006 into May 2007. Throughout May and into September 2007, Manam continued to show activity, but the emissions were mild and the seismicity, ever present, was very subdued. The Main Crater continued to release occasional pale gray ash clouds (table 4).

Table 4. Manam activity mid-May into September; the only data source for 17 September is the Darwin VAAC.

Month Vapor Emissions Ash Emissions Thermal Anomalies Incandescence Seismicity (events)
May 2007 25 May (diffuse) 10-16 May (pale gray) 16-23 May 8, 10, 12-13, 29 May 500-1000
Jun 2007 23 Jun -- -- -- 600-1050
Jul 2007 1-4 Jul, 12 Jul (white) 16-17, 22-23, 26-27 Jul (pale gray) -- 4, 7, 12-13, 16-20, 23, 26-27 Jul 600-1050
Aug 2007 8-9 Aug (blue), 10 Aug 21 Aug -- 2-3, 21 Aug 800-1000
Sep 2007 -- 17 Sep -- -- --

Thermal anomalies were detected at Manam by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on 16 and 23 May 2007. These anomalies were located down the NE Valley.

On 25 May the Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO) reported diffuse plumes from Manam. Based on satellite imagery and information from the Darwin VAAC, these plumes rose to an altitude of 3 km and drifted SW and W.

On those occasions in May where incandescence was visible, area residents heard no noises. The Southern Crater continued releasing diffuse white vapor; however, area residents noted the absence of any noise or glow.

Seismicity throughout May and into early June was low-to-moderate. Through 19 June 2007, low-frequency earthquakes occurred, but no noises were heard. On 23 June, based on satellite observations, the Darwin VAAC reported a low-level eruption that emitted a narrow plume of gas and vapor. It extended 40 km WNW and ascended to an altitude of ~ 3.4 km. The presence of ash was not discernable from the satellite data.

During 1-4 and 12 July 2007, the RVO reported that mild eruptions continued to release occasional diffuse white vapor from Main Crater. Occasional pale gray ash clouds emerged during 16-17, 22-23, and 26-27 July 2007. The ash clouds rose to less than a kilometer above the summit before being blown NW, resulting in fine ashfall. Incandescence was occasionally visible during July. The Southern Crater continued to release diffuse white vapor throughout July with an absence of glow or noise.

Throughout August, Manam continued low level activity. Visual observation of the summit was hampered by clouds most of the time; however, when clear, both craters were releasing primarily thin white vapor. Blue vapor accompanied the white vapor emission from Main Crater on 8-9 August. Based on satellite image observations and information from the RVO, the Darwin VAAC reported that an eruption plume from Manam rose to an altitude of 3 km a.s.l. on 10 August and drifted W. Seismic activity in August remained low and dominated by low-frequency earthquakes. Manam generally lacked significant activity continuing through the end of August and into September 2007. On 17 September, the Darwin VAAC reported that ash plumes from Manam rose to an altitude of 3.7 km a.s.l.

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: Herman Patia and Steve Saunders, Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO), P.O. Box 386, Rabaul, Papua New Guinea; Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC), Bureau of Meteorology, Northern Territory Regional Office, PO Box 40050, Casuarina, Northern Territory 0811, Australia (URL: http://www.bom.gov.au/info/vaac/); Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP) Hot Spots System, University of Hawai'i, 2525 Correa Road, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA (URL: http://modis.higp.hawaii.edu/); NASA Earth Observatory (URL: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/).