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Report on Bagana (Papua New Guinea) — February 1988


Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, vol. 13, no. 2 (February 1988)
Managing Editor: Lindsay McClelland.

Bagana (Papua New Guinea) Lava flow from summit dome nears base of volcano

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 1988. Report on Bagana (Papua New Guinea) (McClelland, L., ed.). Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, 13:2. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.SEAN198802-255020


Papua New Guinea

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

Activity continued at a low level through February, with the summit area continuously producing moderate to strong white vapor. Glow was noted from the summit on several nights during the month. Seismicity was at a low level with only a few (1-10) events recorded/day. During an aerial inspection on the 25th, the new E-flank lava flow had descended to an elevation of ~1,150 m, close to the foot of the volcano. The flow was ~1.5 km long, and its terminus was ~100 m wide and 20-30 m thick.

The lava dome in the summit crater had a flat top but its sides were very steep, particularly noticeable on its SW flank where the dome stood ~30-40 m above [the SW rim] of the summit crater. The lava flow was being fed from the top of the dome and it appeared that the direction of flow could change quite easily.

Geological Summary. Bagana volcano, in a remote portion of central Bougainville Island, is frequently active. 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 characterized by non-explosive effusion of viscous lava that maintains a small lava dome in the summit crater, although occasional explosive activity produces pyroclastic flows. Lava flows with tongue-shaped lobes up to 50 m thick and prominent levees descend the flanks on all sides.

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