Plume From Manam Volcano, Papua New Guinea •

Last update: December 7th, 2019 at 8:00 am

Papua New Guinea’s Manam Volcano remains in a period of intermittent, mild eruptions. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard NASA’s Terra satellite captured this true-color image on July 3, 2015. A relatively narrow plume of light gray ash and gas rises from the small stratovolcano, and then widens as winds blow it towards the northeast. Bright clouds hover over the volcano’s summit. Such clouds often form over tall peaks and are not likely related to the volcanic eruption.

Only 6 miles (10 km) wide, Manam is a stratovolcano composed of alternating layers of ash, lava and rocks from prior eruptions. The island contains four radial valleys spaced roughly 90 degrees apart which have been channels for lava and pyroclastic flows (composed of hot rock, gas and ash). Manam is one of Papua New Guinea’s most active volcanoes and it has occasionally caused casualties, including 13 deaths from a pyroclastic flow in December 1996, and four deaths from a mudflow in March 2007. In 2004 large eruptions forced the evacuation of the entire island.


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