Saturday 26 May 2018

Eruptions on Mount Langila, New Britain.

The Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre has reported a pair of Eruptions on the Mount Langila Volcanic Complex on New Britain, Papua New Guinea, this month. The first occurred on Thursday 17-Friday 18 May, and the second on Monday 21-Tuesday 22 May 2018. Both eruptions produced ash columns that rose to 2.1-2.4 km above sealevel and drifted to the west.

The approximate location of the Langila Volcanic Complex. Google Maps.

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.

New Britain lies on the boundary between the South Bismarck and Solomon Sea tectonic plates. The Solomon Sea Plate is being subducted beneath the South Bismarck Plate, which causes friction as the plates rub together, occasionally leading to Earthquakes. As the Solomon Sea Plate sinks into the Earth it is melted by the heat of the planets interior. Some of the melted material then rises through the overlying South Bismarck Plate, fuelling the volcanoes of New Britain.

The subduction of the Solomon Sea Plate beneath New Britain. Oregon State University.

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