Rabaul Volcano - John Seach

john

East New Britain Province, Papua New Guinea

4.271 S, 152.203 E
summit elevation 688 m
Caldera

Rabaul is one of the most active volcanoes in Papua New Guinea, and one of its most dangerous. It is located on the north eastern end of New Britain Island, and is the eastern most volcano in the Bismarck arc.

The caldera has an elliptical form (14 x 9 km) and is surrounded by a steep volcanic ridge several hundred meters high. The present shape of the caldera was caused by two periods of collapse.

Rabaul volcano photos by John Seach

rabaul volcano
Rabaul volcano 2007

rabaul volcano
Rabaul volcano eruption 2009

rabaul volcano
Rabaul eruption 2009

rabaul eruption
Rabaul eruption 2007

rabaul volcano eruption
Rabaul volcano eruption 2009

rabaul eruption
Rabaul volcano eruption damage 2007

rabaul volcano
Rabaul eruption 2009

rabaul volcano
Volcanic mud, Rabaul volcano

Rabaul has had major eruptions 3500 and 1400 years ago. An eruption of Rabaul in 1994 destroyed Rabaul city, the largest town on New Britain Island. Eruptions severely affected Matupit Island in 2008-09, forcing most of the population to relocate to safer areas.

Eruptive vents in Rabaul Caldera include; Turanguna, Tavurvur, Rabalanakia, Sulphur Creek, Kombiu (mother), and Beehives.

2015 Earthquake
A magnitude 7.6 earthquake hit 70 km southeast of Rabaul volcano, Papua New Guinea on 30th March 2015. The earthquake focus was shallow at a depth of 33 km. Earthquake of this magnitude are able to disrupt volcanic systems. Nearby volcanoes include Rabaul, Tavui, and Ambitle. A tsunami threat was issued for areas in the Pacific as far away as Hawaii, but no destructive waves were recorded.

Seismicity at Rabaul volcano
Earthquake activity at Rabaul caldera increased in 1971 and continued for 23 years before the volcano finally erupted in 1994. This example that shows seismic activity can be used as an indicator of future activity, but cannot predict the time frame.

Rabaul Volcano Eruptions

2014, 2013, 1994-2011, 1943, 1941-42, 1940, 1937, 1878, 1850?, 1791, 1767.