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Report on Ulawun (Papua New Guinea) — 2 August-8 August 2023


Smithsonian Institution / US Geological Survey
Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 2 August-8 August 2023
Managing Editor: Sally Sennert.

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2023. Report on Ulawun (Papua New Guinea) (Sennert, S, ed.). Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 2 August-8 August 2023. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Weekly Report (2 August-8 August 2023)


Papua New Guinea

5.05°S, 151.33°E; summit elev. 2334 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO) reported that small, diffuse, white plumes rose from Ulawun’s summit during 27 July-4 August when there were extended periods of good visibility from the webcam in Ulamona (11-12 km NW). Seismicity fluctuated at moderate levels and was dominated by volcanic tremor; RSAM values ranged from 380 to 800. The Alert Level was lowered to Stage 1 (the lowest level on the four-level scale) on 31 July. Overall, RSAM showed a slow and erratic upward trend during 15 July-4 August and corresponded to an increase in volcanic tremor amplitudes. RVO warned that minor eruptive activity may occur if the trend continued and that ash emissions had previously occurred at similar RSAM levels.

Geological Summary. The symmetrical basaltic-to-andesitic Ulawun stratovolcano is the highest volcano of the Bismarck arc, and one of Papua New Guinea's most frequently active. The volcano, also known as the Father, rises above the N coast of the island of New Britain across a low saddle NE of Bamus volcano, the South Son. The upper 1,000 m is unvegetated. A prominent E-W escarpment on the south may be the result of large-scale slumping. Satellitic cones occupy the NW and E flanks. A steep-walled valley cuts the NW side, and a flank lava-flow complex lies to the south of this valley. Historical eruptions date back to the beginning of the 18th century. Twentieth-century eruptions were mildly explosive until 1967, but after 1970 several larger eruptions produced lava flows and basaltic pyroclastic flows, greatly modifying the summit crater.

Source: Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO)