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Report on False Reports (Unknown) — July 1983

False Reports

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

False Reports (Unknown) Papua New Guinea: Earthquake swarm; sounds and glow

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 1983. Report on False Reports (Unknown) (McClelland, L., ed.). Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, 8:7. Smithsonian Institution.

False Reports


Lat Unknown, Unknown; summit elev. m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

"An unnamed seamount, 30 km NNE of Cape Gloucester, western New Britain, may have been the site of a short-lived eruption on 15-16 June. A subcontinuous swarm of long-period earthquakes was registered by several seismic stations in Papua New Guinea at 1913-2001 on 15 June and 0427-0450 on 16 June. The swarm was recognized when the records were analyzed at RVO in early July. Preliminary determinations indicated shallow origins over a broad area at the W extremity of New Britain.

"Inquiries with the local people resulted in accounts of sounds like a jet plane coming from the sea, and glow in the sea a long distance from the coast. Northeastward migration of the incandescence was also reported, possibly suggesting a fissure eruption. Airborne observations on 28 July failed to find water discolouration or any other evidence of the 6-week-old event.

"Until further information is obtained, the most likely source for these phenomena is a large seamount mapped in the general area of earthquake locations and visible reports."

Geological Summary. False or otherwise incorrect reports of volcanic activity.

Information Contacts: P. de Saint Ours and C. McKee, RVO.