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Report on Bagana (Papua New Guinea) — December 1983


Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, vol. 8, no. 12 (December 1983)
Managing Editor: Lindsay McClelland.

Bagana (Papua New Guinea) Glow, explosions, incandescent boulders

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 1983. Report on Bagana (Papua New Guinea) (McClelland, L., ed.). Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, 8:12. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.SEAN198312-255020


Papua New Guinea

6.137°S, 155.196°E; summit elev. 1855 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

"A marked increase in activity was observed from Bagana in December, with an increase in vapour emission and darkening of the plume early in the month. Bright glow was observed at night on 7 December followed by explosion and rumbling noises on the 8th and the emission of abundant blue vapour. On the 14th, incandescent boulders were observed tumbling down the upper NW flank. By the end of the month activity had decreased again, with no glow at night and the emission of moderate amounts of slightly brownish vapour."

Geological Summary. Bagana volcano, occupying a remote portion of central Bougainville Island, is one of Melanesia's youngest and most active volcanoes. This massive symmetrical cone was largely constructed by an accumulation of viscous andesitic lava flows. The entire edifice could have been constructed in about 300 years at its present rate of lava production. Eruptive activity is frequent and characterized by non-explosive effusion of viscous lava that maintains a small lava dome in the summit crater, although explosive activity occasionally producing pyroclastic flows also occurs. Lava flows form dramatic, freshly preserved tongue-shaped lobes up to 50 m thick with prominent levees that descend the flanks on all sides.

Information Contacts: P. Lowenstein, RVO.