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Report on Manam (Papua New Guinea) — June 1985


Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, vol. 10, no. 6 (June 1985)
Managing Editor: Lindsay McClelland.

Manam (Papua New Guinea) Ash emission and seismicity

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 1985. Report on Manam (Papua New Guinea) (McClelland, L., ed.). Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, 10:6. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.SEAN198506-251020


Papua New Guinea

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

"Following the brief period of intensified activity 12-24 April, activity was mild at both summit craters until late June. Activity during this 2-month interval was characterized by gentle release of white or pale grey emissions with low ash content. No summit incandescence was observed, no tilt changes were recorded, and seismicity was weak.

"Seismicity began to increase in mid-June and seismic amplitudes reached a peak about 4 times non-eruptive levels on the 26th, then appeared to decline at the end of the month. The increase was apparently associated with Southern crater activity; its emissions became more voluminous from the 26th and consisted of dark brown ash. Fine ashfall was reported 4-5 km downwind 2 days later. Activity at Main crater did not appear to be affected and continued to consist of weak to moderate, pale grey, low-density ash and vapour clouds."

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.