Pulsatory andesite lava flow at Bagana Volcano
Wadge, G., Saunders, S. and Itikarai, I. (2012) Pulsatory andesite lava flow at Bagana Volcano. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 13. Q11011. ISSN 1525-2027
To link to this article DOI: 10.1029/2012GC004336
Using a time series of TerraSAR-X spaceborne radar images we have measured the pulsatory motion of an andesite lava flow over a 14-month period at Bagana volcano, Papua New Guinea. Between October 2010 and December 2011, lava flowed continuously down the western flank of the volcano forming a 3 km-long blocky lava flow with a channel, levees, overflows and branches. We captured four successive pulses of lava advancing down the channel system, the first such behaviour of an andesite flow to be recorded using radar. Each pulse had a volume of the order of 107 m3 emplaced over many weeks. The average extrusion rate estimated from the radar data was 0.92 ± 0.35 m3 s-1 , and varied between 0.3 and 1.8 m3 s-1, with higher rates occurring earlier in each pulse. This, together with observations of sulphur dioxide emissions, explosions and incandescence suggest a variable supply rate of magma through Bagana’s conduit as the most likely source of the pulsatory behaviour.