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Report on Witori (Papua New Guinea) — 21 August-27 August 2002

Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 21 August-27 August 2002
Managing Editor: Gari Mayberry

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2002. Report on Witori (Papua New Guinea). In: Mayberry, G (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 21 August-27 August 2002. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Volcano Profile |  Weekly Report (21 August-27 August 2002)


Witori

Papua New Guinea

5.576°S, 150.516°E; summit elev. 724 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


On 21 August several news articles reported that surface deformation had been recorded at Pago by Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO) staff. They also reported that Ima Itikarai, an RVO seismologist, stated that "Lava is flowing from one of the small vents that was formed, but the lava is still contained within the corridor, so it's not a threat." The natural corridor is reportedly 30 m high. Due to the volcanism that has been occurring for three weeks, emergency officials discussed re-settling the 8,000 displaced residents near Pago.

Geologic Background. The 5.5 x 7.5 km Witori caldera on the northern coast of central New Britain contains the young historically active cone of Pago. The Buru caldera cuts the SW flank of Witori volcano. The gently sloping outer flanks of Witori volcano consist primarily of dacitic pyroclastic-flow and airfall deposits produced during a series of five major explosive eruptions from about 5600 to 1200 years ago, many of which may have been associated with caldera formation. The post-caldera Pago cone may have formed less than 350 years ago. Pago has grown to a height above that of the Witori caldera rim, and a series of ten dacitic lava flows from it covers much of the caldera floor. The youngest of these was erupted during 2002-2003 from vents extending from the summit nearly to the NW caldera wall.

Sources: Reuters, Associated Press, Australian Associated Press