Manam Volcano | John Seach


Manam Island, Madang Province, Papua New Guinea

4.10 S, 145.06 E,
summit elevation 1807 m

Manam volcano is located 16 km NNE of Bogia in Papua New Guinea. The island is circular and 10 km in diameter. The lower slopes are vegetated, but the upper slopes are bare. There is no well defined crater. Remnants of an old caldera are visible at an elevation of 900 m. Manam volcano activity includes Strombolian and Pelean eruptions.

Manam volcano photos by John Seach

Manam Volcano eruption. Photo taken by John Seach from rescue ship
during 2004 eruption.

manam island
Manam volcano. Photo taken by John Seach during the 2004 eruption.

manam island
Manam eruption 2004

manam eruption 2004
Manam volcano eruption 2004 from rescue ship

manam volcano eruption
Manam volcano eruption 2004 from rescue ship

manam volcano eruption 2004
Manam volcano eruption 2004

manam island evacuation
Manam Island evacuation 2004

More Manam Volcano photos...

2022 Eruptions
A large isolated explosive event occurred at Manam volcano on 8 March 2022. Ash emission reached an altitude of 50,000 ft. An eruption occurred at Manam volcano, Papua New Guinea on 18 April 2022. Ash emissions reached 45,000 ft altitude and drifted north away from the mainland.

2021 Eruption
An eruption of Manam volcano on 23 January 2021 sent ash to an altitude of 16,000 ft.

2019 Eruptions
Eruptions continue at Manam volcano in 2019. On 8th January ash emissions reached 30,000 ft altitude and a hotspot was visible over the volcano. A large eruption of Manam volcano occurred at 1:00 am local time 25 January 2019. Ash emissions 55,000 ft altitude. This was a significant eruption with a volcanic explosivity index (VEI) of about 4. On 28 June 2019 an eruption of Manam sent ash 50,000 ft altitude. Pyroclastic flows travelled down the west and southwest flanks. Sulphur dioxide emissions drifted 500 km south.

2017 Eruptions
Strombolian activity occurred at Manam volcano southern crater in May 2017.

2013 Eruption
A large eruption occurred at Manam volcano on 12th January 2013. Pilot reports and satellite images indicated ash emissions reached 45,000 ft on the first day of eruption and 40,000 ft on the second day. The eruption posed an aviation hazard for flights between Australia and Asia.

2012 Eruptions
Eruptions continued at Manam volcano in 2012. On 27 and 30 May 2012 Strombolian eruptions occurred at the volcano. The eruptions lasted 1-2 hours. On 16th June pyroclastic flows occurred down the SE valley and reached 300 m above sea level.

2010-11 Eruptions
On 30th December 2010 three pyroclastic flows occurred at Manam volcano. The flows travelled down the the SE valley and reached a few hundred metres from the coast. Ash emissions and crater glow were reported at Manam volcano in January 2011.

2007 Mudflow
In March 2007 a mudflow killed four people on Manam Island.

2005 Eruption
A large eruption occurred at Manam volcano on 28 January 2005. Thirteen people have been injured and one is missing, presumed dead after Friday's eruption. The eruption was larger then the eruptions of last October and November. Falling debris and lava burnt several people who were taken to Madang hospital for treatment. An elderly man from Warisi village was missing, possibly buried under his collapsed house. Two thousand people had returned to the island, which was evacuated last November, and are now pleading to be evacuated. Several houses have burnt down from hot emissions from the volcano, and others have collapsed under the weight of ash and cinders. People are resorting to shielding themselves using palm leaves. The first eruption occurred at night and caught people by surprise. Boats, canoes, and gardens were destroyed by tephra, and people were stranded on the island. A rescue ship has been sent to evacuate people to the mainland. Some of the people stranded on Manam Island had arrived only hours before the eruption to gather food from their gardens. A report from the Western Highlands Province of Papua New Guinea stated that the eruption was heard in Mt Hagen, over 200 km SSW of the volcano. This was the largest eruption in the world over the previous 12 months with ash reaching 70,000 ft altitude.

2005 Aircraft Encounter with Volcanic Emissions
An Embraer E120 turboprop aircraft landing in Dili, Timor-Leste, at 2300 UTC 29 January 2005, reported anencounter with volcanic emissions. The captain and first officer used oxygen mask when they smelt sulphur emissions in the cabin. The aircraft landed without incident.

2004 Eruption
A large series of eruptions at Manam in November and December 2004 forced evacuations from the whole island. John Seach was the first scientist to reach the 2004 eruption. John slept for 2 nights on Manam Island during the eruption and assisted with evacuation of residents by boat. The eruptions killed 5 people, mostly from respiratory effects. Mudflows washed several people into the sea, who held on to floating logs until rescued by canoe.

Evacuation of Manam Island
The large eruptions in 2004 forced the evacuation of Manam Island and closure of public services. Residents were evacuated to care centres on the mainland where they have been living for 9 years. There has been conflict between evacuated Manam Islanders and villagers on the mainland over land issues.

1996 Eruption
A pyroclastic flow at Manam Volcano on December 3 1996 killed 13 people in the village of Budua.

Manam Volcano eruptions
Manam Island's Unique Culture

Further reading
Johnson, R.W., Jaques, A.L., Hickey, R.L., McKee, C.O. and Chappell, B.W., 1985. Manam Island, Papua New Guinea: petrology and geochemistry of a low-TiO2 basaltic island-arc volcano. Journal of Petrology26(2), pp.283-323.

Palfreyman, W.D. and Cooke, R.J.S., 1976. Eruptive history of Manam volcano. Volcanism in Australasia: A Collection of Papers in Honour of the Late GAM Taylor, p.117.

Manam Volcano Eruptions

2022, 2021, 1974-2019, 1965-66, 1963-64, 1963, 1962, 1961, 1959-60, 1959, 1956-58, 1954, 1953, 1946-47, 1936-39, 1932-34, 1926-28, 1925, 1924?, 1923, 1922, 1920-21, 1919, 1917, 1909-14?, 1907?, 1904, 1904, 1901-02?, 1899, 1887-95, 1885, 1884?, 1887, 1830, 1700, 1643, 1616.