Bagana is an active volcano located in the central part of the island of Bougainville, Papua New Guinea, the largest island of the Solomon group. It is the most active volcano in the country. Just northeast of Bagana is the volcano crater lake Billy Mitchell. Bagana is one of 17 post-Miocene strato volcanos on Bougainville. U.S. General Floyd L. Parks flew over the Solomon Islands on October 27, 1948 and witnessed the eruption of Bagana. His photographs of Bagana erupting were published in Life magazine.
Bagana is a massive symmetrical, roughly 1750-m-high lava cone largely constructed by an accumulation of viscous andesitic lava flows. The entire lava cone could have been constructed in about 300 years at its present rate of lava production.
Despite being one of the most active volcanoes in Papua New Guinea, Bagana is poorly monitored. Located on the mountainous spine of Bougainville Island, it is both far from any cities or large towns and hard to reach due to the rough terrain. Bagana emits volcanic gases (including water vapor and sulfur dioxide) almost continuously, and frequently extrudes thick lava flows. Satellites provide the most reliable way to watch this activity.
This natural-color image reveals a fresh lava flow on Bagana’s eastern flank. The image was collected by the Advanced Land Imager (ALI) aboard the Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) satellite on May 16, 2012. Imagery from Landsat 7 shows that the flow was established some time between March 2011 and February 2012. The fresh lava is dark brown, while lighter brown areas were likely stripped of vegetation by volcanic debris or acidic gases. Older lava flows are covered in light green vegetation, and the surrounding forests are dark green. The volcanic plume and clouds are both white.
Text in part from Nasa, Wikipedia and Smithsonian Institute