Report on Manam (Papua New Guinea) — 13 October-19 October 2021
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
13 October-19 October 2021
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2021. Report on Manam (Papua New Guinea). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 13 October-19 October 2021. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
Papua New Guinea
4.08°S, 145.037°E; summit elev. 1807 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
RVO reported that sporadic small ash emissions from Manam’s Southern Crater were observed starting at the end of September. Nighttime incandescence began on 8 October and incandescent material was occasionally ejected from the crater. The activity was characterized as moderately Strombolian with incandescent material rolling down SW Valley, visibly appearing as short lava flows. The Darwin VAAC noted that on 18 October an ash plume rose to 2.4 km (8,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NW. A thermal anomaly was visible in satellite images.
RVO stated that at around 0800 on 20 October a large explosion at Southern Crater produced ash plumes that rose at least 1 km above the summit and drifted N and NW. According to the Darwin VAAC ash plumes rose as high as 15.2 km (50,000 ft) a.s.l. between 0840-0950, expanded radially, and then drifted E. Lower-level plumes rose 4.6-5.5 km (15,000-18,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NW. Later that day a collapse of newly erupted material, as well deposits from the previous few weeks, produced a debris flow that originated at the head of the valley and descended the SW Valley.
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)