Photo of this volcano
Google Earth icon
  Google Earth Placemark
  • Country
  • Volcanic Region
  • Primary Volcano Type
  • Last Known Eruption
  • 14.88°N
  • 39.92°E

  • 904 m
    2965 ft

  • 221040
  • Latitude
  • Longitude

  • Summit

  • Volcano

The Global Volcanism Program has no activity reports for Alid.

The Global Volcanism Program has no Weekly Reports available for Alid.

The Global Volcanism Program has no Bulletin Reports available for Alid.

Geological Background

Alid is an isolated, dissected volcano in the central Danakil depression. The volcano is elongated in an E-W direction perpendicular to the orientation of the Alid graben. Alid consists of a structural dome of uplifted sedimentary rocks, capped by basaltic-to-rhyolitic lava flows, that rises 700 m above the graben floor. Late-stage rhyolitic eruptions during the late Pleistocene ejected rhyolitic pumice. Steep-sided lava flows drape the flanks of the structural dome, which was produced by intrusion of a silicic magma body. A 2 x 3 km graben cuts the top of the dome, and the crater that produced the plinian eruption occupies the western third of the summit depression. Vast lava fields of probable Holocene age originating from fissure vents bank up against the flanks of Alid to the NW and SE. Small cones and craters that were the source of the flows are localized along NNW-trending fissures. Fumarolic activity continues from broad areas on the northern summit and flank.

The Global Volcanism Program is not aware of any Holocene eruptions from Alid. If this volcano has had large eruptions (VEI >= 4) prior to 10,000 years ago, information might be found on the Alid page in the LaMEVE (Large Magnitude Explosive Volcanic Eruptions) database, a part of the Volcano Global Risk Identification and Analysis Project (VOGRIPA).

This compilation of synonyms and subsidiary features may not be comprehensive. Features are organized into four major categories: Cones, Craters, Domes, and Thermal Features. Synonyms of features appear indented below the primary name. In some cases additional feature type, elevation, or location details are provided.




Feature Name Feature Type Elevation Latitude Longitude
Abakri Fumarole
Airole Fumarole 760 m
As'ela Fumarole
Darere Fumarole
Hulma Fumarole 230 m
Humbebet Fumarole
Ilegedi Fumarole

Photo Gallery

A Landsat thematic mapper image shows the elongated Alid volcanic complex in the center of the photo, flanked by darker areas of younger basaltic lava flows in the Alid graben. Crustal spreading in the Danakil spreading center is occurring in the direction of the arrows. The Alid volcanic center is a structural dome that is elongated in a direction perpendicular to the axis of the 15-km-wide graben and rises about 700 m above its floor. Precambrian basement rocks on either side of the graben are uplifted 300-2500 m.

Image by U.S. Geological Survey, 1996 (courtesy of Wendell Duffield).
The elongated Alid volcano, which sits on the axis of the Danakil spreading center, is seen here from the west. Most of the flanks of the volcano in this view are composed of dipping rhyolitic lava flows; the light-colored area along the right skyline is rhyolitic pumice. The summit of the volcano is elongated in an E-W direction and contains a 1 x 1.5 km wide, 100-m-deep crater at the western end. Vast lava fields originating from fissure vents in the Alid graben extend to the NW and SE of the volcano. Vigorous fumarolic activity continues at Alid.

Photo by Wendell Duffield, 1996 (U.S. Geological Survey).
The lower SE flank of Alid consists of a series of steeply dipping rhyolitic lava flows of late-Pleistocene age. In addition to these flows, the outer flanks of Alid are armored by dipping lava flows of basaltic-to-andesitic composition, with local rhyolitic lava flows and domes. These rocks were uplifted by a silicic magma body that was intruded into the upper crust of Danakil Depression during the Pleistocene. The magma body in part erupted to form rhyolitic pumice that drapes part of the upper part of the structural dome.

Photo by Wendell Duffield, 1996 (U.S. Geological Survey).
Uplift of the Alid structural dome exposes thick sequences of reddish, well-stratified siltstone beds, some very fossilifeorus, which accumulated in a tidal or inter-tidal environment. A couple of very light-colored horizons within the section are anhydrite beds, presumabily from the drying up of this wet environment where the fossiliferous limestone accumulated. High in the sequence there are some pillow basalts. At the very top of the sequence on the left is a few-meters-thick cover of light-colored rhyolitic plinian pumice fallout.

Photo by Wendell Duffield, 1996 (U.S. Geological Survey).
Very young basaltic lava flows bank against the northern base of Alid volcano. Basaltic cones in the background are some of the vent areas for these basaltic lava flows, which post-date the formation of Alid volcano and are often oriented along NNW-trending fissures. The youngest volcanic unit at Alid is agglutinated spatter on the NW side of Alid that originated from vents either on Alid or within the northern basalt field.

Photo by Wendell Duffield, 1996 (U.S. Geological Survey).


The following references have all been used during the compilation of data for this volcano, it is not a comprehensive bibliography. Discussion of another volcano or eruption (sometimes far from the one that is the subject of the manuscript) may produce a citation that is not at all apparent from the title.

CNR-CNRS Afar Team, 1973. Geology of northern Afar (Ethiopia). Rev Geog Phys Geol Dynam, 15: 443-490.

Duffield W A, Bullen T D, Clynne M A, Fournier R O, Janik C J, Lanphere M A, Lowenstern J, Smith J G, W/Giorgis L, Kahsai G, W/Mariam K, Tesfai T, 1997. Geothermal potential of the Alid volcanic center, Danakil Depression, Eritrea. U S Geol Surv Open-File Rpt, 97-291: 1-62.

Richard J J, Neumann van Padang M, 1957. Africa and the Red Sea. Catalog of Active Volcanoes of the World and Solfatara Fields, Rome: IAVCEI 4: 1-118.

WoldeGabriel G, 1987. . (pers. comm.).

Wood C A, 1980. . (pers. comm.).

Volcano Types


Tectonic Setting

Rift zone
Intermediate crust (15-25 km)

Rock Types

Basalt / Picro-Basalt
Andesite / Basaltic Andesite
Trachyandesite / Basaltic trachy-andesite
Trachyte / Trachyandesite


Within 5 km
Within 10 km
Within 30 km
Within 100 km

Affiliated Databases

Large Eruptions of Alid Information about large Quaternary eruptions (VEI >= 4) is cataloged in the Large Magnitude Explosive Volcanic Eruptions (LaMEVE) database of the Volcano Global Risk Identification and Analysis Project (VOGRIPA).
WOVOdat WOVOdat is a database of volcanic unrest; instrumentally and visually recorded changes in seismicity, ground deformation, gas emission, and other parameters from their normal baselines. It is sponsored by the World Organization of Volcano Observatories (WOVO) and presently hosted at the Earth Observatory of Singapore.
EarthChem EarthChem develops and maintains databases, software, and services that support the preservation, discovery, access and analysis of geochemical data, and facilitate their integration with the broad array of other available earth science parameters. EarthChem is operated by a joint team of disciplinary scientists, data scientists, data managers and information technology developers who are part of the NSF-funded data facility Integrated Earth Data Applications (IEDA). IEDA is a collaborative effort of EarthChem and the Marine Geoscience Data System (MGDS).
Smithsonian Collections Search the Smithsonian's NMNH Department of Mineral Sciences collections database. Go to the "Search Rocks and Ores" tab and use the Volcano Name drop-down to find samples.