Logo link to homepage

Report on Manam (Papua New Guinea) — January 2009


Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, vol. 34, no. 1 (January 2009)
Managing Editor: Richard Wunderman.

Manam (Papua New Guinea) Moderate ash plumes continue into 2009

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2009. Report on Manam (Papua New Guinea) (Wunderman, R., ed.). Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, 34:1. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.BGVN200901-251020


Papua New Guinea

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

Ash plumes from Manam were reported intermittently between 2 April and 7 October 2008 (BGVN 33:09), although the volcano was generally quiet. Additional ash plumes were seen in satellite imagery and reported by the Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre on 20 November, 15 December, and 19 December 2008. Plumes rose to 3 km altitude on each of those days, and drifted 55 km downwind on 20 November. No other plumes were noted through 23 January 2009.

On most days during January 2009 when the summit area was clear, observers noted Southern Crater releasing variable white vapor. No glow was observed and no audible noises were heard. Main Crater was generally quiet with activity similar to Southern Crater's vapor emissions on most days. In contrast, diffuse blue vapor was visible on 21 and 22 January. The occasional dull, and sometimes bright, steady glow reported in previous months was observed on 1, 19-20, and 26 January. On 1 January observers heard some roaring and rumbling noises.

No seismic recording was conducted throughout the month of January due to instrumentation problems. Only one MODVOLC thermal alert was detected between 8 October 2008 and 23 January 2009. That one took place on 20 January 2009 (2 pixels).

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: 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, NT 0811, Australia (URL: http://www.bom.gov.au/info/vaac/); Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP) Thermal Alerts System, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST), Univ. of Hawai'i, 2525 Correa Road, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA (URL: http://modis.higp.hawaii.edu/).