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Report on Manam (Papua New Guinea) — September 2010


Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, vol. 35, no. 9 (September 2010)
Managing Editor: Richard Wunderman.

Manam (Papua New Guinea) Ejecting lava fragments and ash plumes during August-October 2010

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2010. Report on Manam (Papua New Guinea) (Wunderman, R., ed.). Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, 35:9. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.BGVN201009-251020


Papua New Guinea

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

After an eruption produced a plume on 12 December 2009, Manam was quiet through February 2010 (BGVN 35:02). The volcano remained quiet until August 2010, when South Crater became active. Main Crater produced diffuse white vapor, sometimes tinged blue, in August and September.

According to the Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO), on 10 August, incandescence from Manam's South Crater was visible at 4-5 minute intervals. The next day, diffuse black ash plumes rose a few hundred meters above the rim. Steady incandescence was accompanied by periodic ejections of lava fragments to 400-500 m above the rim; most of the ash fell back into the crater. Based on analysis of satellite imagery, the Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC) reported that, at 1232 on 14 August, ash plumes at an altitude of 2.4 km had drifted 55 km NW.

RVO reported that, during 13-28 August, incandescence from Manam's South Crater was visible at night. During 27-28 August, incandescence emanated from Main Crater also and brightened every 15-20 minutes. At that time, incandescent lava fragments ejected tens to hundreds of meters above South Crater according to observers in Bogia, ~23 km SSW. Weak explosions were heard at 15-20 minute intervals.

During 28-29 August, emissions from Main Crater were occasionally accompanied by diffuse gray ash plumes. Incandescent lava fragments continued to be ejected by South Crater and probably by Main Crater also. Based on analysis of satellite imagery, the Darwin VAAC reported that, at 1732 on 30 August, an ash plume reached an altitude of 2.4 km and drifted 55 km NW. On 30 August, plumes rose from both Manam's Main Crater and South Crater. The emissions rose from South Crater at 5-10 minute intervals. During 30 August-2 September, incandescence was observed.

During 5-7 September, ash plumes rose from Manam's South Crater, and light ashfall was reported on the NW part of the island. Subsequently, the Darwin VAAC reported ash plumes on 22 October (plume rose to an altitude 4.3 km and drifted 130 km NW) and on 28 October (plume rose to an altitude of 4.6 km and drifted ~95 km NW).

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), PO 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/).