Logo link to homepage

Report on Langila (Papua New Guinea) — July 1983


Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, vol. 8, no. 7 (July 1983)
Managing Editor: Lindsay McClelland.

Langila (Papua New Guinea) Explosions; ashfalls; strong harmonic tremor

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 1983. Report on Langila (Papua New Guinea) (McClelland, L., ed.). Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, 8:7. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.SEAN198307-252010


Papua New Guinea

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

"Stronger activity that commenced at Crater 2 on 26 June continued into July. During the first week of July, ash emissions blown down the volcano's flanks by strong winds occasionally obscured the active vent. A few large Vulcanian explosions were observed, and associated detonations and rumblings were heard frequently at the beginning of the month. Ashfalls continued during this period in inhabited coastal areas about 10 km to the NW and N. Weak crater glow was noted on 2 July.

"Seismic records indicate an average of about five Vulcanian explosions per day in the first week of July, accompanied by large-amplitude harmonic tremor on most days. A decline in activity was evident after 7 July as emissions became less voluminous and less ash-rich, and explosive sounds less frequent.

"Activity re-intensified somewhat from 15 July. Greater quantities of ash were ejected, resulting in renewed ashfalls in coastal areas. On a few days the volcano was again obscured by its own ash emissions. Vulcanian explosions continued to register on seismograms at an average of about 3 per day.

"Crater 3 remained relatively inactive, mainly releasing white vapours. However, pale grey and blue emissions were reported on 9 July.

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. de Saint Ours, RVO.