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Report on Langila (Papua New Guinea) — November 1982


Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, vol. 7, no. 11 (November 1982)
Managing Editor: Lindsay McClelland.

Langila (Papua New Guinea) Two large Vulcanian explosions

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 1982. Report on Langila (Papua New Guinea) (McClelland, L., ed.). Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, 7:11. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.SEAN198211-252010


Papua New Guinea

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

"A generally low level of activity prevailed during November, when both craters usually emitted tenuous white vapours, and usually no crater incandescence or sound effects were observed. However, two large Vulcanian explosions from Crater 2 were reported, on 12 and 22 November. A dense ash cloud was erupted at about 1930 on the 12th. Brilliant lightning displays were reported, and the eruption cloud contained incandescent tephra. On the 22nd a 3 km-high eruption column was produced by an explosion at about 0200. Light ashfalls 10 km N and W of the volcano were reported. Seismic activity was generally low, although several explosion earthquakes were recorded.

"A detailed aerial and ground inspection was carried out on 29 November. Both craters were releasing thin white and blue vapours. At the S rim of Crater 2 a strong odour of SO2 was detected. The strong eruptive activity at Crater 2 in May resulted in significant accumulation (about 100 m) of coarse red-brown tephra mainly on the W rim of the crater. Vulcanian explosions since then have reamed out a funnel-shaped crater 250-300 m wide and about 200 m deep. No vents were visible in the floor of the crater. Crater 3 was about 150 m across and shallow, and most emissions seemed to originate from sources scattered around the crater walls. The nose of the westernmost lobe of the May Crater 2 lava flow was visited. The flow thickness at that point was about 20 m."

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: C. McKee and P. Lowenstein, RVO.