Karkar

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  • Country
  • Subregion Name
  • Primary Volcano Type
  • Last Known Eruption
  • 4.649°S
  • 145.964°E

  • 1839 m
    6032 ft

  • 251030
  • Latitude
  • Longitude

  • Summit
    Elevation

  • Volcano
    Number

26 March-1 April 2014

Based on analyses of satellite imagery and wind data, the Darwin VAAC reported that during 26-27 March ash plumes from Karkar rose to an altitude of 2.4 km (8,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted almost 50 km ENE and NW.

Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)



 Available Weekly Reports


2014: March
2013: January | February | March
2012: February
2009: November
2008: January


26 March-1 April 2014

Based on analyses of satellite imagery and wind data, the Darwin VAAC reported that during 26-27 March ash plumes from Karkar rose to an altitude of 2.4 km (8,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted almost 50 km ENE and NW.

Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)


13 March-19 March 2013

Based on analyses of satellite imagery and wind data, the Darwin VAAC reported that on 26 February an ash plume from Karkar rose to an altitude of 8.5 km (28,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted 75 km N and 130 km E.

Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)


20 February-26 February 2013

Based on analyses of satellite imagery and wind data, the Darwin VAAC reported that on 26 February an ash plume from Karkar rose to an altitude of 9.1 km (30,000 ft) a.s.l.

Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)


23 January-29 January 2013

Based on analyses of satellite imagery and wind data analyses, the Darwin VAAC reported that on 29 January an ash plume from Karkar rose to an altitude of 4.3 km (14,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted less than 40 km NE.

Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)


1 February-7 February 2012

Based on analyses of satellite imagery, the Darwin VAAC reported that a possible ash plume from Karkar rose to altitudes of 7.6-10.7 km (25,000-35,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NE and E on 1 February.

Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)


25 November-1 December 2009

Based on analyses of satellite imagery, the Darwin VAAC reported that an eruption from Karkar on 25 November produced a plume that rose to an altitude of 13.7 km (45,000 ft) a.s.l. The report also stated that ash had merged with a thunderstorm cloud and had become unidentifiable. Another ash plume identified on 26 November rose to an altitude of 9.1 km (30,000 ft) a.s.l. Confirmation of ash emissions was not available from RVO at the time of the posting of this report. [Note: Further analyses revealed that an eruption had not occurred. Additional information received by RVO indicated dead vegetation S of the active crater (similar observations were made in 2007) and a few new "holes" in the crater area.]

Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)


2 January-8 January 2008

RVO reported that white vapor emissions from the Bagiai cone in Karkar's inner caldera were observed by a visiting field team during 27-31 December. The resultant white vapor plume was also visible from the mainland. Communities to the W and SW reported hearing roaring noises associated with gas emissions. Images sent to RVO on 11 December indicated that the vegetation on the SE flank was completely withered.

Source: Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO)


Summary of eruption dates and Volcanic Explosivity Indices (VEI).

Start Date Stop Date Eruption Certainty VEI Evidence Activity Area or Unit
2013 Jan 29 2013 Feb 26 Confirmed 1 Historical Observations
[ 2012 Feb 1 ] [ 2012 Feb 1 ] Uncertain 1  
[ 2010 Feb 25 ] [ 2010 Feb 26 ] Uncertain 1  
[ 2009 May 1 ± 30 days ] [ Unknown ] Uncertain    
[ 1980 Jan 7 ] [ 1980 Jan 17 ] Uncertain 1  
1979 Jan 12 (?) 1979 Aug 9 Confirmed 2 Historical Observations SE foot of Bagiai
1974 Dec 30 (?) 1975 Jun 26 Confirmed 2 Historical Observations Bagiai
1974 Feb 14 1974 Aug 8 Confirmed 2 Historical Observations Bagiai
[ 1962 (?) ] [ Unknown ] Uncertain 2   Ulumam
1895 Jun 17 1895 Aug Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1885 Unknown Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
[ 1830 ] [ Unknown ] Uncertain    
1643 Apr 20 Unknown Confirmed 3 Historical Observations
1070 ± 200 years Unknown Confirmed   Radiocarbon (uncorrected) South flank (Patilo Cone)
0730 (?) Unknown Confirmed 4 Radiocarbon (uncorrected)
0520 ± 100 years Unknown Confirmed 4 Radiocarbon (uncorrected)
0870 BCE ± 75 years Unknown Confirmed   Radiocarbon (uncorrected)
7140 BCE ± 150 years Unknown Confirmed 4 Radiocarbon (uncorrected)

The following references are the sources used for data regarding this volcano. References are linked directly to our volcano data file. Discussion of another volcano or eruption (sometimes far from the one that is the subject of the manuscript) may produce a citation that is not at all apparent from the title. Additional discussion of data sources can be found under Volcano Data Criteria.

Cooke R J S, Johnson R W, 1978. Volcanoes and volcanology in Papua New Guinea. Geol Surv Papua New Guinea Rpt, 78/2: 1-46.

Fisher N H, 1957. Melanesia. Catalog of Active Volcanoes of the World and Solfatara Fields, Rome: IAVCEI, 5: 1-105.

Johnson R W, Taylor G A M, Davies R A, 1972. Geology and petrology of Quaternary volcanic islands off the north coast of New Guinea. Aust Bur Min Resour Geol Geophys Rec, 1972/21: 1-127.

Lowenstein P L, 1982. Problems of volcanic hazards in Papua New Guinea. Geol Surv Papua New Guinea Rpt, 82/7: 1-62.

McKee C O, Cooke R J S, Wallace D A, 1976. 1974-75 eruptions of Karkar volcano, Papua New Guinea. In: Johnson R W (ed) {Volcanism in Australasia}, Amsterdam: Elsevier, p 173-196.

McKee C O, Wallace D A, 1981. Lava fields in the inner caldera of Karkar volcano. Geol Surv Papua New Guinea Mem, 10: 49-62.

Pain C F, McKee C O, 1981. Late Quaternary eruptive history of Karkar Island. Geol Surv Papua New Guinea Mem, 10: 39-48.

Silver E, Day S, Ward S, Hoffmann G, Llanes P, Driscoll N, Appelgate B, Saunders S, 2009. Volcano collapse and tsunami generation in the Bismarck Volcanic Arc, Papua New Guinea. J Volc Geotherm Res, 186: 210-222.

Karkar is a 19 x 25 km wide, forest-covered island that is truncated by two nested summit calderas. The 5.5-km-wide outer caldera was formed during one or more eruptions, the last of which occurred 9000 years ago. The eccentric 3.2-km-wide inner caldera was formed sometime between 1500 and 800 years ago. Parasitic cones are present on the northern and southern flanks of basaltic-to-andesitic Karkar volcano; a linear array of small cones extends from the northern rim of the outer caldera nearly to the coast. Most historical eruptions, which date back to 1643, have originated from Bagiai cone, a pyroclastic cone constructed within the steep-walled, 300-m-deep inner caldera. The floor of the caldera is covered by young, mostly unvegetated andesitic lava flows.