High-level eruption at Manam volcano, ash to 15.2 km (50 000 feet) a.s.l., Papua New Guinea

High-level eruption at Manam volcano, ash to 15.2 km (50 000 feet) a.s.l., Papua New Guinea

A high-level eruption took place at Manam volcano, Papua New Guinea on June 27, 2019, after a period of increased seismic activity. The Aviation Color Code is Red.

According to locals, the eruption started with a 'thundering noise' around 15:00 UTC (01:00 local time, June 28). Satellite imagery acquired 22:00 UTC, June 27 indicated volcanic ash rising up to 12 km (40 000 feet) above sea level, drifting W.

By 23:35 UTC, ash cloud was rising up to 15 km (50 000 feet) a.s.l. It detached from the volcano by 07:00 UTC, June 28 and continued moving SW.

"Traces of ash to 4.5 km (15 000 feet) a.s.l. are still discernable on multispectral satellite imagery, however, the signal is largely SO2 rich," the Darwin VAAC said 07:00 UTC.

"Volcanic ash to 15.2 km (50 000 feet) is expected to dissipate within 12 hours. Rabaul Volcano Observatory reports ongoing eruption to 4.5 km (15 000 feet) is further aided by superheated pyroclastic flow to the west and northeast of the crater."

Manam's eruption comes just 2 days after a powerful eruption at Ulawun volcano, about 714 km (440 miles) to the east. 

Ulawun erupted at about 22:00 UTC on June 25 after a few weeks of increased activity. Volcanic ash rose up to 19.2 km (63 000 feet) a.s.l. The eruption forced thousands of people to evacuate.

Previous eruptive activity at the volcano

Explosive activity at Manam volcano, Aviation Color Code remains Red, Papua New Guinea - March 04, 2019

Explosive activity continues at Papua New Guinea's Manam volcano, ejecting ash plume to an estimated 3 km (10 000 feet) above sea level since March 1, 2019. Significant thermal anomalies were detected on March 2 and 3 as well as a plume of SO2 at approximately 3...

Destructive eruption at Manam volcano, residents call urgent evacuation, VA to 16.7 km (55 000 feet) a.s.l., P.N.G. - January 24, 2019

A new high-impact eruption took place at Manam volcano, Papua New Guinea around 16:20 UTC on January 24, 2019. The volcano is continuously erupting for more than 24 hours and has destroyed telecommunication towers, water sources and other infrastructure. Local...

High-impact eruption at Manam volcano, ash to 15.2 km (50 000 feet) a.s.l., Papua New Guinea - January 23, 2019

A powerful eruption started at Papua New Guinea's Manam volcano around 04:48 UTC on January 23, 2019. The Aviation Color Code is Red. The Darwin VAAC first reported the eruption at 04:49 UTC with ash estimated at a height of 12.2 km (40 000 feet) a.s.l. The...

High-level eruption at Manam volcano, ash to 15.2 km (50 000 feet) a.s.l., P.N.G. - January 11, 2019

A new high-level eruption took place at Papua New Guinea's Manam volcano at around 04:25 UTC on January 11, 2019. The Aviation Color Code is Red. According to the Darwin VAAC, the eruption produced a column of ash rising up to 15.2 km (50 000 feet) above sea...

Powerful eruption at Manam volcano, ash to 16.7 km (55 000 feet) a.s.l., P.N.G. - January 08, 2019

A powerful eruption started at Manam volcano, Papua New Guinea around 21:00 UTC on January 7, 2019. The Aviation Color Code was raised to Red. Volcanic ash dissipated by 06:15 UTC, January 8. According to the Darwin VAAC, satellite imagery suggest volcanic ash...

High-impact eruption at Manam volcano, heavy ashfall blocking sunlight, P.N.G. - December 08, 2018

A powerful eruption started at Manam volcano, Papua New Guinea around 03:00 UTC on December 8, 2018. Heavy ashfall is falling on the island, blocking out sunlight. Volcanic ash rose up to 13.7 km (45 000 feet) above sea level, according to the Darwin VAAC, forcing...

Eruption at Manam volcano ejects ash to 10.4 km (34 000 feet) a.s.l., Aviation Color Code raised to Red, P.N.G. - October 05, 2018

A discrete emission of volcanic ash to a height of 10.4 km (34 000 feet) above sea level took place at Manam volcano, Papua New Guinea around 12:48 UTC, October 5, 2018. The eruption does not seem to be ongoing, the Darwin VAAC said 14:17 UTC. Volcanic ash cloud...

Geological summary

The 10-km-wide (6.2 miles) island of Manam, lying 13 km (8 miles) 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 1 807-m-high (5 928 feet) basaltic-andesitic stratovolcano to its lower flanks.

These "avalanche 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 historical eruptions have originated from the southern crater, concentrating eruptive products during much of the past century into the SE valley.

Frequent historical 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. (GVP)

Featured image: Ash rising above Manam volcano at 23:00 UTC on June 28, 2019. Credit: JMA/Himawari-8, RAMMB/CIRA, EUMETSAT, TW

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