Eruptions of Ulawun, Langila, and Rabaul volcanoes, New Britain

Eruptions of Ulawun, Langila, and Rabaul volcanoes, New Britain
  • Credit:

    Jeff Schmaltz

Three volcanoes are simultaneously erupting on the island of New Britain, Papua New Guinea. The first, Ulawun (located in the center-right of the island), is a stratovolcano, which is a steep, conical volcano built by thick lava flows. It is very active, erupting once every few years on average. It is part of an island arc, a string of volcanoes that forms over a “subduction zone” where two plates collide. The second, Langila (on the far left of the island), is a complex volcano, consisting of a group of four overlapping cones. It is also highly active. The third, Rabaul (on the far right side of the island), is classified as a pyroclastic shield. This means that it was created from fluid lava flows, producing a flat, dome-like shape. Volcanoes can be highly destructive; however, volcanic soils are highly rich in minerals and in some places, geothermal energy has been tapped from young volcanoes.

Images & Animations


File Dimensions

  • 550x400
  • JPEG 60 KB
  • 1100x800
  • JPEG 209 KB
  • 2200x1600
  • JPEG 526 KB

Note: Often times, due to the size, browsers have a difficult time opening and displaying images. If you experiece an error when clicking on an image link, please try directly downloading the image (using a right click, save as method) to view it locally.


  • Data Date:

    August 9, 2005
  • Visualization Date:

    January 5, 2005
  • Sensor(s):

    Terra - MODIS
NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration