Report on Nyamuragira (DR Congo) — 31 January-6 February 2001
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 31 January-6 February 2001
Managing Editor: Gari Mayberry
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2001. Report on Nyamuragira (DR Congo). In: Mayberry, G (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 31 January-6 February 2001. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
1.408°S, 29.2°E; summit elev. 3058 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
According to a preliminary report from USAID/OFDA, Nyamuragira began erupting at 0032 on 6 February. Observations made during a flight over the volcano revealed that there were active lava flows. The lava appeared to be flowing from two fissures; one to the W towards the town of Kitchanga, and another to the S in the direction of the town of Mugunga (Sake) and Nyiragongo volcano. Smoke was observed near the volcano and the sound of thunder was heard. Cloudy conditions prevented clear observations of the volcano.
Geologic Background. Africa's most active volcano, Nyamuragira, is a massive high-potassium basaltic shield about 25 km N of Lake Kivu. Also known as Nyamulagira, it has generated extensive lava flows that cover 1500 km2 of the western branch of the East African Rift. The broad low-angle shield volcano contrasts dramatically with the adjacent steep-sided Nyiragongo to the SW. The summit is truncated by a small 2 x 2.3 km caldera that has walls up to about 100 m high. Historical eruptions have occurred within the summit caldera, as well as from the numerous fissures and cinder cones on the flanks. A lava lake in the summit crater, active since at least 1921, drained in 1938, at the time of a major flank eruption. Historical lava flows extend down the flanks more than 30 km from the summit, reaching as far as Lake Kivu.