Bishoftu Volcanic Field

Photo of this volcano
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  • Country
  • Volcanic Region
  • Primary Volcano Type
  • Last Known Eruption
  • 8.78°N
  • 38.98°E

  • 1850 m
    6068 ft

  • 221220
  • Latitude
  • Longitude

  • Summit

  • Volcano

The Global Volcanism Program has no activity reports for Bishoftu Volcanic Field.

The Global Volcanism Program has no Weekly Reports available for Bishoftu Volcanic Field.

The Global Volcanism Program has no Bulletin Reports available for Bishoftu Volcanic Field.

Basic Data

Volcano Number

Last Known Eruption



Unknown - Evidence Credible

1850 m / 6068 ft


Volcano Types

Fissure vent(s)
Tuff ring(s)

Rock Types

Basalt / Picro-Basalt

Tectonic Setting

Rift zone
Continental crust (> 25 km)


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

Geological Summary

The Bishoftu volcanic field, also known as Debre Zeit, consists of an area of fissure-fed Holocene lava flows, cinder cones, tuff rings, and maars. Several of the maars are filled by lakes, which are popular recreational destinations from the nearby capital city of Addis Ababa. Most of the craters and cones are aligned NE-SW, parallel to the direction of the Ethiopian Rift Valley. The 750 x 1000 m wide Haro Maja tuff ring and its neighbor, lake-filled Kilole, are offset to the east. The cones and maars of the Bishoftu volcanic field were erupted through rhyolitic welded tuffs.


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

Di Paola G M, 1972. The Ethiopian Rift Valley (between 7° 00' and 8° 40' lat north). Bull Volc, 36: 517-560.

Emilia D A, Last B J, Wood C A, Dakin F M, 1976-77. Geophysics and geology of an explosion crater in the Ethiopian Rift Valley. Bull Volc, 40: 133-140.

Mohr P A, 1961. The geology, structure, and origin of the Bishoftu explosion craters. Bull Geophys Observ Addis Ababa, 2: 65-101.

The Global Volcanism Program is not aware of any Holocene eruptions from Bishoftu Volcanic Field. If this volcano has had large eruptions (VEI >= 4) prior to 10,000 years ago, information might be found on the Bishoftu Volcanic Field 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.


Debre Zeit


Feature Name Feature Type Elevation Latitude Longitude
Aranguadi Tuff ring 8° 42' 0" N 38° 59' 0" E
Biete Mengest Tuff ring 8° 46' 0" N 39° 0' 0" E
Bishoftu Hayk Tuff ring 8° 44' 0" N 38° 59' 0" E
Dankole Cone 8° 47' 0" N 39° 6' 0" E
Haro Maja Tuff ring 8° 48' 0" N 39° 6' 0" E
Hora Arsedi Hayk Tuff ring 8° 46' 0" N 38° 59' 0" E
Horaro Hayk Tuff ring 8° 42' 0" N 38° 58' 0" E
Kilole Tuff ring 8° 48' 0" N 39° 5' 0" E

Photo Gallery

A chain of lake-filled maars (dark-colored in this Landsat image), tuff rings, and cinder cones, lies along the Ethiopian Rift Valley SE of Addis Ababa and forms the Bishoftu volcanic field. The city of Debre Zeit (left-center) lies between two maars, irregular-shaped Lake Hora and circular Lake Bishoftu. The Haro Maja tuff ring and its neighbor to the west, lake-filled Kilole maar (upper right), are offset to the east.

NASA Landsat image, 1999 (courtesy of Hawaii Synergy Project, Univ. of Hawaii Institute of Geophysics & Planetology).

Smithsonian Sample Collections Database

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

Affiliated Sites

Large Eruptions of Bishoftu Volcanic Field 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.