Rabaul volcano, located on the Gazelle Peninsula in East New Britain, Papua New Guinea, is a complex caldera system renowned for its frequent and often destructive eruptions. The caldera encompasses several sub-vents, the most prominent being Tavurvur, known for its repeated activity. The volcano’s history is marked by significant events, such as the simultaneous eruptions of Vulcan and Tavurvur in 1937, which resulted in hundreds of fatalities. More recently, the 1994 eruptions caused catastrophic damage to the town of Rabaul, leading to the relocation of the provincial capital to Kokopo.

Location: East New Britain, Papua New Guinea
Coordinates: -4.271384, 152.199494
Volcano Type: Caldera


Rabaul’s Location


Rabaul’s Latest Status

2024: Not Active.


Rabaul’s Eruptive History

Year Overview
Pre-Historic Two major caldera-forming eruptions occurred approximately 3,500 and 1,400 years ago.
1700s Several documented eruptions, including eruptions at Tavurvur in 1767 and 1791.
1878 Simultaneous eruptions from Vulcan and Tavurvur.
1937-1943 A major eruptive period. The 1937 eruption from Vulcan and Tavurvur caused extensive damage and over 500 deaths. Activity continued with lava flows and ash emissions until 1943.
1994 One of the most significant eruptions. Explosive activity from both Tavurvur and Vulcan devastated the town of Rabaul, leading to its abandonment.
2006 Tavurvur erupted, sending an ash plume 18 km into the atmosphere and causing some disruptions.
2010-2014 A period of elevated activity with several eruptions from Tavurvur. The 2014 eruption was particularly significant, causing flight disruptions due to extensive ashfall.


Rabaul Monitoring

Unvailable for this volcano.


Rabaul Images