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Archive for July 11th, 2009

Manam Volcano Coughs, Again!

Posted by feww on July 11, 2009

Manam Volcano, just off the coast of mainland Papua New Guinea, released a faint plume on June 28, 2009. The Advanced Land Imager (ALI) onboard NASA’s Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) satellite captured this photo-like image of the volcano the same day. Bright white clouds hover over the volcano’s summit. Clouds often collect over peaks, but these clouds could result from water vapor released by the volcano. Slightly darker in color, a pale blue-gray plume blows west-northwest from the summit and over the Bismarck Sea. NASA image created by Jesse Allen, using EO-1 ALI data provided courtesy of the NASA EO-1 Team. Caption by Michon Scott.

Manam Volcano

Country:  Papua New Guinea (PNG)
Region : Northeast of New Guinea
Volcano Type: Stratovolcano
Last Known Eruption: 2009 (continuing)
Summit Elevation: 1,807 m
Latitude: 4.080°S
Longitude: 145.037°E
Source: Global Volcanism Program (GVP)

Manam GVP
The 10-km-wide island of Manam, lying 13 km off the northern coast of mainland Papua New Guinea, is one of the country’s most active volcanoes. Four large radial valleys extend from the unvegetated summit of the conical 1807-m-high basaltic-andesitic stratovolcano to its lower flanks. These “avalanche valleys,” regularly spaced 90 degrees apart, channel lava flows and pyroclastic avalanches that have sometimes reached the coast. Five small satellitic centers are located near the island’s shoreline on the northern, southern and western sides. Two summit craters are present; both are active, although most historical eruptions have originated from the southern crater, concentrating eruptive products during much of the past century into the SE avalanche valley. Frequent historical eruptions, typically of mild-to-moderate scale, have been recorded at Manam since 1616. Occasional larger eruptions have produced pyroclastic flows and lava flows that reached flat-lying coastal areas and entered the sea, sometimes impacting populated areas. Photo by Wally Johnson (Australia Bureau of Mineral Resources). Caption: GVP.

Major Volcanoes of Papua New Guinea

Manam, Papau New Guinea – May 9, 2006

An unusually clear day in Papua New Guinea provided the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite with this view of the Manam Volcano on May 9, 2006. The volcano is one of the country’s most active volcanoes, and it has erupted frequently since 1616. Its current eruption began on October 24, 2004, when the volcano erupted explosively. Though MODIS has detected many ash plumes from the volcano since that time, none have been so large. Evidence that the volcano was still rumbling on May 9 comes from the tan plume of ash that streams southeast from the mountain summit.  NASA image created by Jesse Allen, Earth Observatory, using data obtained courtesy of MODIS Rapid Response team.

More of the images acquired in 2006 are posted at:

When the Manam volcano erupted explosively in the middle of the night on January 27, 2005, it sent a cloud of ash and sulfur dioxide over New Guinea. The large eruption killed at least one person, injured several others, and destroyed the volcano monitoring station on the small volcanic island. About 12 hours after the eruption (January 28), the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) flew over on NASA’s new Aura satellite. This image was produced from preliminary, uncalibrated data provided by OMI.

OMI saw a large cloud of sulfur dioxide drifting west over the island of New Guinea. The gas is measured in Dobson Units (DU), the number of molecules in a square centimeter of the atmosphere. Red pixels cover the areas of highest concentration, while the lowest concentrations are represented by pink pixels. If you were to compress all of the sulfur dioxide a column of the atmosphere into a flat layer at standard temperature and pressure, one Dobson Unit would be 0.01 millimeters thick and would contain 0.0285 grams of SO2 per square meter. On January 28, the atmosphere over New Guinea contained up to 50 Dobson Units (red regions), or 1.425 grams of SO2 per square meter.

Once in the atmosphere, sulfur dioxide combines with water to create a highly reflective haze of sulfuric acid. The haze reflects sunlight away from the Earth, so if the eruption is big enough, it can lead to cooler temperatures for several years before the sulfuric acid falls out of the atmosphere as rain. In 1991, Mount Pinatubo sent millions of tons of SO2 into the atmosphere, and global temperatures, which had been expected to rise because of the greenhouse effect, leveled out. While large, Manam’s eruption does not compare to Mount Pinatubo in magnitude, and it is not clear if or how the eruption will impact regional climate.

For more information about Manam’s eruption, please visit the Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Center.

OMI was added to the Aura satellite as part of a collaboration between the Netherlands’ Agency for Aerospace Programs and the Finnish Meteorological Institute. The sensor tracks global ozone change and monitors aerosols in the atmosphere.

NASA image courtesy Simon Carn, Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology (JCET), University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC). Caption: Earth Observatory.

Continued Eruption of Manam Volcano – October 24, 2004

manam 2004 EO
Collection: NASA Earth Observatory Collection – Title: Continued Eruption of Manam Volcano
Description: The island of Manam sits in the Bismarck Sea across the Stephan Strait from the east coast of mainland Papua New Guinea. Only 10 kilometers wide, the island results from the activity of the Manam Volcano, one of the country?s most active. In this image from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MO DIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite on  , a large ash plume has spread northwestward from an eruption of Manam, located at bottom right. The thermally active areas on the volcano have been detected by MODIS and are outlined in red. Interestingly, the winds higher up in the atmosphere appear to have been blowing in the opposite direction at the time this image was captured. Streamers of clouds stretch from the coast northeastward over the ash plume and farther out to sea. In the afternoon sunlight, the thicker clouds cast shadows down onto the ash plume. North of the cloud streamers, the tail of the ash plume is being rippled by the wind into rows of evenly spaced, nearly parallel waves. The Manam Volcano has an interesting structure. Its 1,870-meter summit is bare and carved by four large avalanche valleys that radiate from the summit down the flanks. These valleys are spaced roughly 90 degrees apart around the cone-shaped mountain, and lava and pyroclastic debris flows have funneled through these valleys and reached the coast in past eruptions. The volcano has two summit craters, and both are active. The island is inhabited, and emergency agencies urged residents to move to safer parts of the island; however, according to news reports on October 27, no casualties had yet been reported. NASA image courtesy Jeff Schmaltz, MOD IS Rapid Response Team, NASA-GSFC  —  UID: SPD-ETOBS-12556 —  Image ID: 173708  — Original caption.

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