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Arek had a forceful, outspoken and flamboyant personality, and was an ardent nationalist, serious-minded politician and trade unionist. 1 a). The drawing is reproduced here courtesy of the Johnston family, Melbourne. For example, Wijo Plantation, which was within the limit of total devastation in 1951, is shown on the 1974 map as growing rubber and cocoa, and tracks run upslope from it to a few houses on a creek draining from the higher parts of the volcano. However, the presence of buried soil layers, signifying breaks in eruptive activity, were helpful, as were four radiocarbon dates on charred wood fragments. 2). Another important limitation in the early years was the unsuitability over large areas of existing aerial photographic and topographic map coverage. [1] The volcano rises to 1680 m above the coastal plain north of the Owen Stanley Range. Substantial attention was paid to the Orokaiva in the post-disaster Northern District where there was already a history of cooperative movements, cash cropping schemes and economic development that had been deeply influenced by World War II (WWII) and by the disastrous Lamington eruption. Note how many of these features are sited within a broad band running east-north-eastwards up the western flank of the volcano and encompassing the summit area, as shown by the two red dashed lines. Many of these deposits occupy pre-existing valleys that are dangerous because of the propensity of rapidly descending mudflows and pyroclastic flows to follow them, as experienced during 1951. It involved conducting integrated land resource surveys rapidly, and it adopted a multidisciplinary approach aimed at assessing land use potential for agricultural and other developmental purposes by using the skills of a range of scientists—mainly geomorphologists, pedologists, plant ecologists, botanists, foresters and climatologists (Christian 1958; Christian and Stewart 1964; Blake and Paijmans 1973; Keig et al. Late that night on 18th January, smoke lava began to ooze from the peak, and then three days later, there was… The Australian National University, Canberra The Administration College seeded the political influence of a progressive ‘Committee of Thirteen’—Papua New Guineans who publicly proposed early self-government. One of these, number 15, is called the ‘Ambogo’ land system, which is readily seen on the map by the several narrow, irregular strips—coloured in mauve—like streams escaping from the summit area. 1976). “Apart from the well known DC, Mr Cecil Cowley,” Newman writes, “the other names - I believe there were 34 - … Collection of photographs and colour slides from the 1951 eruption of Mt Lamington, Papua New Guinea. Arrows show net plate motion relative to the Australian Plate. This survey work was part of a regional geological program aimed at covering the whole of the Territory at 1:250,000-scale as a basis for mineral and petroleum exploration and resource assessment (e.g. Europeans were certainly aware that the Orokaiva treated the mountain with considerable respect and apprehension as the home of powerful spirits, as noted by Wilfred Beaver as early as 1913–14. The BMR established a geophysical observatory in Port Moresby in 1957 as part of a broad network of earthquake and geomagnetic recording stations covering the Australian region (e.g. Mount Lamington, therefore, was not conforming to the subduction zone model, meaning that generalisations about the behaviour of explosive volcanoes at subduction zones elsewhere could not necessarily be transferred to Lamington. Tectonic microplates of the Melanesian region. All of these challenges, and others, meant that the reports and coloured maps for the first two land survey sheets could not be published until 1964—that is, 10 years after completion of the surveys (Haantjens et al. Many pits and auger holes had to be dug and sections along footpaths scraped away to reveal the ash layers, and only the upper sixth of the ash mantle was studied in detail anyway. Two other minor volcanic centres on the plateau were together near Kururi, close to Afore, where a small pyroclastic cone and nearby explosion crater were reported by Ruxton as having been ‘active in village memory’ (Ruxton 1966b, 351; Figure 9.4). CSIRO on Mount Lamington. A lot had been achieved, but much remained to be done. Mount Lamington is an andesitic stratovolcano in the Oro Province of Papua New Guinea.… A large Anglican mission complex was established after the eruption near Sivepe at Sasembata that included a school, church and hospital (see also Kettle 1979). The January 21, 1951 eruption of Mount Lamington, Papua New Guinea, completely devastated an area of 230 km2 and killed 2500 people (Taylor 1958). The road continues eastwards through Soroputa to a larger cluster of buildings at Agenahambo, which includes St Michaels Mission and Martyrs School, and then on to Koipa and Hohorita School near the western side of Ambogo River. Did these stories carry with them accounts of the overwhelming fierceness of the devastating eruption at Mount Victory together with a derived understanding of ‘the origin of death, warfare, [and] fire’? The main road then runs up into the town of Popondetta itself, which is 20 kilometres from the summit of Mount Lamington and is now by far the largest of all the settlements in the Lamington area. The effects of the eruptions at Goropu in 1943–44 also must have been known quite widely by people in the Lamington area—and not just by Reverend Dennis Taylor and the concerned young Tufi cook at Sangara Plantation. Science, in fact, underpinned a fourth explanation for the disaster, but one that was held by only a minority of Orokaiva. Ruxton also recognised that he was studying ash sequences on only one side of the volcano, and that sequences elsewhere, deposited by different winds, might be quite different. Wilkinson 1996). The anger had been caused by loud noises—by disrespectful acts, such as grenades being thrown near the crater during the war and, after the war, Orokaiva, and especially the Sangara people, hunting on the mountain with newly acquired guns, thereby depleting the ready availability of meat. Figure 9.5. The departed spirits of the Orokaiva have their home there, headed by the first man to have suffered death, Sumbiripa, to whom all the activity of the Mountain is ascribed. How many of these new elite Orokaiva asked why the all-knowing and powerful Europeans had not interpreted correctly the geophysical early warning signs of the catastrophic eruption? Mount Lamington: Des Martin On Sunday morning 21 January 1951, I was relaxing in the single men’s quarters Lae in what was then the Territory of Papua and New Guinea (TPNG). Plant ecologist B.W. Johnson and Molnar 1972). The road then runs past the Embi Lakes to the coast of Oro Bay. CSIRO plant ecologist B.W. Several crags formed on the angry mountain and the couple became isolated on one of them, from which they leapt into a ‘crater’ formed between the crags. The volcano rises to 1680 meters above the … The width of the outlined box from this map by Haantjens et al. G.A.M. 2). Ophiolite-contaminated andesites, trachybasalts, and cognate inclusions of Mount Lamington, Papua New Guinea: anhydrite-amphibole-bearing lavas and the 1951 cumulodome. The first multiracial House of Assembly, a first parliament of elected members, met in 1964 (Downs 1980). Attempts by villagers to rescue them, apparently using a line of cane, are frustrated by the hole becoming deeper as the mountain grows higher, and they perish. This PDC completely devastated an area of 230 sq. Schwimmer could not confirm this, however, and later wrote that ‘before 1951, Sumbiripa was not known by Orokaiva to have ever erupted’ (Schwimmer 1977, 321). Therefore, collapses of the volcano may have taken place preferentially in the same direction, although debris-avalanche deposits had not been recognised. These were likely to have been areas burnt regularly by the Orokaiva who appear to have abandoned this practice post-eruption, after which the area became invaded by secondary forest growth. Such a thickness is an attraction to any geologist interested in reconstructing the life history of a volcano, and CSIRO geologist Bryan P. Ruxton took up the challenge, reporting widely on his findings (Ruxton 1966a, 1966b, 1988, 1999; Ruxton et al. km, traveling maximum distance of 15 km in N direction; 3500 people were killed by the eruption. These rocks had been thrust up by powerful tectonic forces forming the so-called ‘Papuan Ultramafic Belt’ (PUB), which makes up the towering barrier of the Owen Stanley Range (Davies 1971). The one on the left is by Maine Winny (Johnston 1995, 12). Kururi’s name, then, can be added to the list of volcanoes in Papua known to have been historically active up to 1951—Victory, Goropu, Lamington and Kururi. This grass-covered pyroclastic cone is at Kururi in the western part of the Managalase Plateau (rephotographed from Ruxton et al. Extracting scientific interpretations from powerful and strongly told myths after disasters can be a fraught exercise, but one can conclude in the case of Mount Lamington that evidence of witnessed, undoubted, pre-1951 eruptive activity cannot be confidently obtained from the myths. The PUB is known technically as an ‘ophiolite’ belt. The forested peak of the volcano had not been recognised as such until its devastating eruption in 1951 that caused about 3,000 deaths. km; L=8.5 km; H/L=0.14). The passage of a down-going plate into the Earth’s upper mantle is tracked by increasingly deeper earthquakes. The second study village was a ‘control group’ of people at Inonda who had neither evacuated nor been relocated as a result of the disaster. Marsh. The Anglican mission led by Bishop Hand and others must have made that point rather clearly following the 1951 disaster. Mount Lamington: Des Martin On Sunday morning 21 January 1951, I was relaxing in the single men’s quarters Lae in what was then the Territory of Papua and New Guinea (TPNG). It could also be said to have ‘geological content’, although the creation of crags, peaks and craters is not mentioned in versions of the legend told before 21 January 1951. This is in contrast to winds below 5,000 metres, which change from north-westerly during the ‘wet’ monsoonal season to south-easterly during the ‘dry’ season of south-east trade winds. This map is based almost entirely on the map published by I.E.M. Mount Lamington may have been inactive for well over 1,000 years prior to the 1951 eruption. [1964b] 2010b; Keig et al. Taylor 1958). Taylor spent part of the next few years at the Bureau of Mineral Resources, Geology and Geophysics (BMR) headquarters in Canberra writing his major report on the 1951 eruption, but he maintained a strong commitment to work on other active volcanoes in the Territory. Schwimmer (1969) said that this version was ‘the richest in mythological content’ (6). The south-east-facing crater wall could be that of a debris-avalanche escarpment. He had come to Papua New Guinea at a time when the Anglican Mission was struggling to recover after the devastation of the Second World War. km; L=8.5 km; H/L=0.14). Unfortunately, until 1951, residents of the surrounding Oro province thought it was just a wooded mountain top, ( an area covered with woods). Another was the nature of the youthfully volcanic Managalese Plateau to the south-east of Lamington where about 30 small volcanic centres were defined. Taylor (1957) concluded that as much as 400 square kilometres of vegetation had been destroyed on Victory by its late nineteenth-century eruption, an area twice the size of the area of total devastation on Lamington in 1951. The accompanying man and woman became separated on different peaks where they died of loneliness and despair. The volcanoes related to any one subduction zone form long lines or ‘arcs’ parallel to the convergent plate boundary itself. Tragically, Taylor died on the island on 19 August, apparently from a heart attack after returning from a climb towards the summit crater (Fisher 1976). The group had started out informally as the ‘Bully Beef Club’ but it led to the creation of the Pangu Pati (Nelson 1982). The forested peak of the volcano had not been recognised as such until its devastating eruption in 1951 that caused about 3,000 deaths. These c. 50 peaks are also the highest mountains of Australasia and the continent of Australia, where, outside New Guinea, the highest mountain is Aoraki / Mount Cook in New Zealand with a height of 3724 m. Lead-Up to Independence. #1 Mount Lamington Mountain Elevation: 1680 m Updated: 2019-05-17 Mount Lamington is an andesitic stratovolcano in the Oro Province of Papua New Guinea. Numerous artificial explosions were fired from ships at sea to the north-east (in the Solomon Sea) and south-west (in the Coral Sea), and the seismic signals were recorded at the land-based stations. However, Christian Orokaiva interviewed by Schwimmer in 1966–67 were rejecting the wrath of God explanation as ‘resting on a misunderstanding of the nature of God’ (Schwimmer 1977, 317). Signs from Sumbiripa reach the living regularly, because at all times the Mountain has rumbled and sent forth tremors and smoke. Figure 9.4. Improved earthquake mapping from numerous stations worldwide underpinned development of the revolutionary theory of plate tectonics that emerged in 1967–68 and whose impact became clearer during the early 1970s. The collapse was followed by vertical explosive fountain which was not buoyant and formed a pyroclastic density current (PDC). The broad structure of the PUB as an area of crustal thickening was confirmed, but the thickness of the crust beneath Lamington was found to be only 8 kilometres. Further, earthquakes may be felt, or heard, as roars in the vicinity of Mount Lamington that are of plate-tectonic rather than volcanic origin. This involved abandoning the fine church they had built after the eruption at Irihambo and rebuilding another, less-impressive one at Hohorita (e.g. The sketch of peaks used on the title pages of each of the four parts of this book is based on the drawing shown here. 9. 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