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Report on Langila (Papua New Guinea) — March 1988


Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, vol. 13, no. 3 (March 1988)
Managing Editor: Lindsay McClelland.

Langila (Papua New Guinea) Small ash explosions; incandescent tephra

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 1988. Report on Langila (Papua New Guinea) (McClelland, L., ed.). Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, 13:3. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.SEAN198803-252010


Papua New Guinea

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

Eruptive activity was at a low level throughout March. Background activity consisted of release of small volumes of white vapour from Crater 2, with occasional deep, low rumbling noises. Weak to loud explosion sounds were heard at 1- to 8-day intervals. The largest explosions (on 4, 11, 12, 14, and 17 March) ejected ash-laden clouds to 300-600 m above the crater, causing light ashfalls on coastal villages. The main explosions (Vulcanian or phreatomagmatic) were followed by a period of incandescent, Strombolian-like projections to ~60 m above the crater rim and a bright to dull crater glow that persisted for a few hours. Crater 3 was inactive except for weak greyish vapour emission 2-4 March. Microseismicity remained at a low level, although the major explosions were recorded.

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 and C. McKee, RVO.