Langila Volcano | John Seach


West New Britain Province, Papua New Guinea

5.53 S, 148.42 E
summit elevation 1330 m
Complex volcano

Langila volcano is located 11 km south of Cape Gloucester, West New Britain. Langila represents an eastward migration of Mt Talawe eruption centre. The volcano consists of a group of four small overlapping composite cones on the lower eastern flank of extinct Talawe volcano.

Langila is one of the most active volcanoes in the Bismarck arc. Volcanic activity at Langila consists of Strombolian-Vulcanian and Vulcanian eruptions and lava flows.

Four Craters are located at the summit.
Crater 1. Elevation 1220 m, diameter 460 x 380 m.
Crater 2. The most active in recent years. Elevation 1120 m, diameter 300 m.
Crater 3. Formed in 1960. Elevation 1060 m, diameter 160 m.
Munlulu. The oldest and highest of the four craters. Elevation 1200 m, diameter 550 m.

Earthquakes at Langila Volcano
Langila Volcano seismicity includes high-frequency air-wave phases from summit explosions and low-frequency earthquakes.

2012 Eruptions
Eruptions resumed at Langila volcano in November 2012 when ash emissions reached a height of 5,000 ft. On 6th December 2012 ash reached a height of 7000 ft and drifted 60 nautical miles northwest, and a sulphur dioxide plume was visible on satellite images.

2009 Earthquake
A magnitude 5.3 earthquake hit 7 km SSW of the summit of Langila volcano on 5th October 2009. The earthquake focus was at a depth of 174 km.

1984 Eruptions
Eruptions continued at Langila volcano in 1984.

1983 Eruptions
Vulcanian activity continued at Langila volcano in 1983. Strong eruptions on 11-14 and 22-24 January ejects lava on to the volcano's flanks and set fire to vegetation. Between 11-16 February crater 2 produced continuous Strombolian eruptions 100 m high and intermittent Vulcanian explosions. An eruption of Langila volcano on 18th April 1983 produced a column which rose to a height of 8 km and was visible from an aircraft 70 km away. Vulcanian eruptions increased on 7th June when 30 explosions occurred. Explosive activity in August was not accompanied by ejection of incandescent lava. Between 1-20 December, activity at Langila volcano consisted of occasional emissions of white-grey emissions rising 0.6-1.2 km above the summit, accompanied by weak to low rumbling explosion noises. Crater glow was visible 12-14 December, with ejection of glowing fragments 270 m high on the 13th. Ashfall was reported 10 km to the N of the volcano on 6, 7, 11, and 15 December.

1982 Eruptions
Strombolian and Vulcanian eruptions occurred at Langila volcano in January 1982.

1981 Eruptions
Activity at Langila decreased at the start of 1981. Eruptions intensified in June with Vulcanian explosions, ashfall 10 km from the volcano, and crater glow. Seismicity reached a peak at the end of July. In November 1981 crater 2 produced Strombolian and Vulcanain activity. Small nuées ardentes were produced from crater 2.

1980 Eruption
A new crater was formed at Langila volcano on 19th January 1980. Thick brown-grey emissions occurred until 29th January. A 700 m long lava flow was observed during an overflight on 15th February. The lava effused from the new vent which formed on 19th January. During May bombs were ejected to a height of 600 m above the crater. Roaring, rumbling and detonations were heard from a distance of 10 km. On 9th May a base surge travelled 300 m west. A higher period of activity occurred between mid October and 8th November 1980.

1979 Eruptions
On 27th Septe0hghmber 1979 a series of 10 large explosions were heard at Langila volcano. Several millimeters thick of ash deposited at Kilenge mission, 10 km NW of the volcano.

1978 Eruptions
Eruptions began at Langila volcano in late April 1978, and intensified on 27th May with Vulcanian explosions. One to two large explosions occurred daily, with many smaller emissions. Six strong explosions were reported in October 1978 on 7, 9, 11, 19, 25, and 29th. Late in October eruptions became more frequent. An active lava dome in Crater 2 was observed on 7th and 15th December, which produced a night glow visible from a distance of 10 km.

1977 Eruptions
Strombolian eruptions occurred in 1977 at Langila volcano, with a peak activity in September.

1974 Eruption
A large explosion occurred on 15th February 1974 at Langila volcano. The eruption caused changes to one of the summit craters, and an aerial survey showed small eruptions from two craters.

1973 Eruption
An eruption began on 12th July 1973. A lava flow was 1 km long and 300 m wide by 18th July. The lava flow continued for 6 months. This was only the third lava flow at Langila in 20th century, the other being in 1960 and 1967.

1878 Eruption
The first reported eruption at Langila volcano was in 1878 by a sailor Wilfred Powell. Violent activity was reported.

Further reading
Mori, J., et al. "Seismicity associated with eruptive activity at Langila volcano, Papua New Guinea." Journal of volcanology and geothermal research 38.3-4 (1989): 243-255.

Taylor, G.A., Best, J.G. and Reynolds, M.A., 1957. Eruptive activity and associated phenomena, Langila volcano, New Britain (No. 26). Bureau of Mineral Resources, Geology and Geophysics.

Langila Volcano Eruptions

2015-2022, 2012, 2002-09, 1973-2000, 1971-72, 1970, 1969, 1967-68, 1964-66, 1962-63, 1960-61, 1958, 1956, 1955, 1954, 1942?, 1907, 1900, 1890, 1884, 1878.