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Report on Manam (Papua New Guinea) — November 1983


Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, vol. 8, no. 11 (November 1983)
Managing Editor: Lindsay McClelland.

Manam (Papua New Guinea) Emissions increase; fewer but stronger earthquakes

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 1983. Report on Manam (Papua New Guinea) (McClelland, L., ed.). Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, 8:11. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.SEAN198311-251020


Papua New Guinea

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

"Activity at Manam's Main crater showed a further intensification in November but Southern crater activity remained mild. The stronger Main crater activity commenced about mid-month, and was marked by moderate to strong, pale grey-brown tephra-laden emissions, accompanied by louder rumbling and roaring sounds, and a doubling of the amplitudes of explosion and B-type volcanic earthquakes. Daily totals of earthquakes showed a corresponding decrease from about 2500 to 1500. No significant tilting accompanied the intensified eruptive activity. Fluctuating or dull glow from Main crater was seen occasionally throughout the month. Southern crater continued to release emissions that usually contained little or no tephra. Weak rumbling or roaring sounds were heard occasionally. Blue vapours were emitted from both craters on most days of November."

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.