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Report on Nyamuragira (DR Congo) — 11 January-17 January 2012

Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 11 January-17 January 2012
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2012. Report on Nyamuragira (DR Congo). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 11 January-17 January 2012. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Volcano Profile |  Weekly Report (11 January-17 January 2012)


Nyamuragira

DR Congo

1.408°S, 29.2°E; summit elev. 3058 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


According to observations by scientists from the Afar Consortium Project, the fissure eruption at Nyamuragira that began on 6 November 2011 continued on 8 January 2012. The initial scoria cone appeared inactive and second cone formed to the N of the first cone. Both cones were about 300 m high. The second cone was extremely active during the duration of the observations (about 15 hours) with fire fountains over twice the height of the cone; lava flowed N. The observers, about 1.5 km away, felt the heat from the eruption as well as lapilli fall.

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.

Source: Afar Rift Consortium