Virtual Volcano Vacation #34 WINNER! – Bagana

Image originally located at Global Volcanism Program

Image originally located at Global Volcanism Program

Leslie has found me once again..this time at Mount Bagana, a very active little volcano on the island of Bougainville in the North Solomans of Papua New Guinea. This volcano is a little extra special for me because my father-in-law Douglas Page was on Bougainville for a time during his service in the U.S.Navy during World War 2. It is likely he saw the volcano erupting while there, though he never mentioned it in any of the few personal accounts of his time in the Pacific that he told before he passed away six years ago.

Below is the New Zealand WWII news reel from which I screengrabbed the inset photo in postcard #3

Bagana is a youthful symmetrical lava cone situated in the center of the island. It has an elevation of 1855 metres (6084 feet) and was constructed of thick andesitic lava, Based upon its current rate of flow, the entire cone could have been built up in just 300 years. Bagana’s lava is viscous and slow though, and the volcano is far enough from villages and cities that its explosive eruptions are not much of a threat to the island’s current population of more than 175,000.

Viscous andesitic lava flows down Bagana's flank and pools up at its base.  Photo by Wally Johnson, 1988 (Australia Bureau of Mineral Resources). Original image located at Global Volcanism Program

Viscous andesitic lava flows down Bagana’s flank and pools up at its base. Photo by Wally Johnson, 1988 (Australia Bureau of Mineral Resources). Original image located at Global Volcanism Program

It has a healthy eruptive history..25 confirmed and one dubious. Its most recent eruption began in 2000 and is ongoing. But its prior eruption lasted from 1972 to 1995…an impressive 23-year shout with only a five-year breather before the current activity began. To compare this young volcano to an infant, I would speculate that it is teething.

I have found two examples of Bagana featured on postage stamps. (the kina is the monetary unit of Papua New Guinea)

Postage stamps from 1973 (top and 2009 (bottom) featuring Mount Bagana - Original images located at MountainStamp.com

Postage stamps from 1973 (top and 2009 (bottom) featuring Mount Bagana – Original images located at MountainStamp.com

So, six points go to Leslie for finding me after the fourth postcard. Check back here this coming Monday for a new volcano and a new adventure. Also you can now follow this blog on Facebook. The link is in the sidebar.

A painting by Douglas Burtell, 164th Infantry, whose collection of photos and sketches depict his life as a G.I. and his time in the South Pacific.- Image originally at North Dakota National Guard's web site.

A painting by Douglas Burtell, 164th Infantry, whose collection of photos and sketches depict his life as a G.I. and his time in the South Pacific.- Image originally at North Dakota National Guard’s web site.

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