Thursday 6 December 2012

Eruption on Mount Langila.

Mount Langila is an active complex volcano comprised of four overlapping craters emerging from the northeast flank of the extinct Talawe Volcano on Cape Gloucester at the western tip of New Britain, Papua New Guinea. The volcano has produced numerous explosive eruptions ever since it was first recorded in the mid-nineteenth century, and is flanked to the northeast by a lava field which runs to the sea. The newest crater was created during an explosive eruption in 1960 that produced 10 000 cubic meters of lava.

Steam issuing from two craters on Langila. Oceanic Expeditions.

On 1 December 2012 the Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre reported an eyewitness account from a pilot of an ash-plume rising 1.5 km above the volcano. This is the first eruption since September 2010 (some steam was witnessed issuing from the volcano in 2011, but this was not thought to be a major event).

New Britain is located on the South Bismarck Plate, one of a group of small tectonic plate fragments caught between the converging Pacific and Australian Plates. To the south of the island the Solomon Sea and Australian plates are both being subducted, passing under the South Bismark Plate as they do so. As they sink into the Earth the plates are partially melted by the friction and the heat of the planet's interior. Some of this melted material then rises through the overlying plate, fuelling the volcanoes of New Britain.

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