Mat Ala

Photo of this volcano
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  • Country
  • Volcanic Region
  • Primary Volcano Type
  • Last Known Eruption
  • 13.106°N
  • 41.161°E

  • 493 m
    1617 ft

  • 221105
  • Latitude
  • Longitude

  • Summit

  • Volcano

The Global Volcanism Program has no activity reports for Mat Ala.

The Global Volcanism Program has no Weekly Reports available for Mat Ala.

The Global Volcanism Program has no Bulletin Reports available for Mat Ala.

Basic Data

Volcano Number

Last Known Eruption



Unknown - Evidence Credible

493 m / 1617 ft


Volcano Types


Rock Types

Basalt / Picro-Basalt
Andesite / Basaltic Andesite
Trachybasalt / Tephrite Basanite
Trachyandesite / Basaltic trachy-andesite

Tectonic Setting

Rift zone
Intermediate crust (15-25 km)


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

Geological Summary

Mat Ala is a low, ~500-m-high shield in the southern Tat Ali Range, east of Afderà volcano. A 300-m-deep, 2.5 x 3.5 km wide caldera is found at the summit of the volcano, whose flanks are cut by numerous N-S-trending faults. Mat Ala has been active during the Holocene, and fumarolic activity occurs along a fissure SW of the volcano.


The following references have all been used during the compilation of data for this volcano, it is not a comprehensive bibliography.

CNR-CNRS, 1975. Geological Maps of Afar: 1, Northern Afar (1971); 2, Central and Southern Afar (1975). La Celle St Cloud, France: Geotechnip.

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

Pagli C, Wright T J, Ebinger C J, Yun S-H, Cann J R, Barnie T, Ayele A, 2012. Shallow axial magma chamber at the slow-spreading Erta Ale Ridge. Nature Geoscience 5, 284–288.

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

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

The Global Volcanism Program has no synonyms or subfeatures listed for Mat Ala.

Photo Gallery

The elongated N-S-trending volcanic chain below and to the right of turquoise-colored Lake Afrera consists of the Tat Ali complex at the northern end and the Mat Ala shield volcano at the southern end. Mat Ala contains a small 2.5 x 3.5 km wide caldera visible as a small light-colored dot near the southern end of the chain in this NASA Space Shuttle image. To the SW of Lake Afrera is medium-toned Afderà volcano; Alayta volcano with its extensive dark-colored lava flows is farther to the west.

NASA Space Shuttle image S-19-35, 1984.

Smithsonian Sample Collections Database

There are no samples for Mat Ala in the Smithsonian's NMNH Department of Mineral Sciences Rock and Ore collection.

Affiliated Sites

Large Eruptions of Mat Ala 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).
MODVOLC - HIGP MODIS Thermal Alert System Using infrared satellite Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) data, scientists at the Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology, University of Hawai'i, developed an automated system called MODVOLC to map thermal hot-spots in near real time. For each MODIS image, the algorithm automatically scans each 1 km pixel within it to check for high-temperature hot-spots. When one is found the date, time, location, and intensity are recorded. MODIS looks at every square km of the Earth every 48 hours, once during the day and once during the night, and the presence of two MODIS sensors in space allows at least four hot-spot observations every two days. Each day updated global maps are compiled to display the locations of all hot spots detected in the previous 24 hours. There is a drop-down list with volcano names which allow users to 'zoom-in' and examine the distribution of hot-spots at a variety of spatial scales.
MIROVA Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity (MIROVA) is a near real time volcanic hot-spot detection system based on the analysis of MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) data. In particular, MIROVA uses the Middle InfraRed Radiation (MIR), measured over target volcanoes, in order to detect, locate and measure the heat radiation sourced from volcanic activity.