Report on Bagana (Papua New Guinea) — March 1981
Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, vol. 6, no. 3 (March 1981)
Managing Editor: Lindsay McClelland.
Bagana (Papua New Guinea) Lava extrusion continues; small nuées ardentes
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 1981. Report on Bagana (Papua New Guinea). In: McClelland, L. (ed.), Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, 6:3. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.SEAN198103-255020.
Papua New Guinea
6.137°S, 155.196°E; summit elev. 1855 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
"Moderate to strong emission of white vapour continued throughout March. An active lava flow descending the [established lava channel on] the N slope had reached 2/3 of the way down the mountain. Small nuée ardente-type avalanches caused by collapse of the flow front were observed during an aerial inspection on 9 January."
Geologic Background. Bagana volcano, occupying a remote portion of central Bougainville Island, is one of Melanesia's youngest and most active volcanoes. This massive symmetrical cone was largely constructed by an accumulation of viscous andesitic lava flows. The entire edifice could have been constructed in about 300 years at its present rate of lava production. Eruptive activity is frequent and characterized by non-explosive effusion of viscous lava that maintains a small lava dome in the summit crater, although explosive activity occasionally producing pyroclastic flows also occurs. Lava flows form dramatic, freshly preserved tongue-shaped lobes up to 50 m thick with prominent levees that descend the flanks on all sides.
Information Contacts: C. McKee, RVO.