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Report on Manam (Papua New Guinea) — 22 August-28 August 2018


Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
22 August-28 August 2018
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2018. Report on Manam (Papua New Guinea). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 22 August-28 August 2018. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Weekly Report (22 August-28 August 2018)


Papua New Guinea

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

RVO reported that an eruption at Manam began at around 0600 on 25 August after island residents reported increased activity beginning an hour before. According to the Darwin VAAC ash plumes visible in satellite data rose to 15.2 km (50,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted WSW. The plume drifted W and NW, causing ash and scoria to fall in areas from Dangale in the NNE to Jogari in the SW part of the island. The most affected areas were Baliau and Kuluguma; residents reported fallen tree branches from the deposits, and conditions so dark that flashlights were needed to move around. Lava flows traveled down the NE valley and pyroclastic-flow deposits were evident in the NE valley all the way to the sea. The pyroclastic flows buried six houses in Boakure village though the occupants escaped to the nearby Abaria village. According to a news article about 2,000 people evacuated. The eruption ceased around 1030 with dense white emissions visible afterwards. During brief periods of good visibility after the eruption, and through 26 August, observers noted dense white vapor emissions and occasional light gray ash plumes.

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.

Sources: Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO), Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC), Reuters