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Report on Manam (Papua New Guinea) — April 1983


Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, vol. 8, no. 4 (April 1983)
Managing Editor: Lindsay McClelland.

Manam (Papua New Guinea) Vapor emissions, detonations, glow, ashfalls

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 1983. Report on Manam (Papua New Guinea) (McClelland, L., ed.). Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, 8:4. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.SEAN198304-251020


Papua New Guinea

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

"A slight intensification of the ongoing mild eruptive activity was evident in April. Increased seismicity and continuous, voluminous blue vapour emissions occurred at both summit craters from mid-month. Both craters continued to emit pale grey or brown ash clouds that reached maximum heights of about 1000 m above the summit. Emissions from Southern crater were accompanied by sharp detonations, booming, and rumbling of varying intensities, at intervals of 5-25 minutes. Similar sound effects from Main crater were occasionally heard.

"Southern crater glow was seen on most nights in the month, although a hiatus occurred 14-16 April. Ejections of incandescent lava that reached maximum heights of about 250 m above the crater were seen on about 30% of nights. Weak or fluctuating Main crater glow was observed 5-8 and 14-19 April. Ashfalls were recorded in coastal areas, about 5 km from the summit, on about 35% of days.

"No significant tilt changes were recorded in April, but seismicity showed a mild intensification. Seismic amplitudes increased near the beginning of the month and remained double normal size. Daily earthquake totals varied from 2500 at the beginning and end of the month to a peak of 3500 on 23 April."

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: C. McKee, RVO.