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Report on Langila (Papua New Guinea) — October 1985


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

Langila (Papua New Guinea) Increased activity; ash plumes

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 1985. Report on Langila (Papua New Guinea) (McClelland, L., ed.). Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, 10:10. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.SEAN198510-252010


Papua New Guinea

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

"The eruption of Crater 2 persisted through October with periods of increased activity from 4-7 and 14-25 October. When inspected on 2 and 3 October, the 200-m-wide crater was only 50 m deep, plugged with a magma column covered by debris. High-pressure degassing was occurring from six fissures in the crater floor. Occasional explosions that may have been phreatomagmatic produced ash-laden plumes.

"Intensification of magmatic activity on the 4th resulted in sub-continuous Strombolian ejections to 250 m above the crater and intermittent Vulcanian explosions. A light to dark grey ash-laden plume rose 1500 m above the crater, and produced ashfall 10 km downwind. Loud rumbling noises and sharp explosions were heard at an observation post 9 km N of the volcano. Periods of seismic tremor lasting from a few minutes to a few hours were recorded during this time.

"Activity returned to the former degassing mode 7-18 October, but eruptions resumed after the 19th. The strongest seismic activity was recorded on the 19th and 20th but harmonic tremor lasted until the 24th. Strombolian eruptions were discontinuous 19-24 October and a few Vulcanian explosions expelled dark ash-laden columns to 2000 m above the crater. By the end of the month, the eruptive activity had declined to persistent degassing, with a few explosion shocks recorded daily."

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: P. de Saint Ours, RVO.