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  • Country
  • Volcanic Region
  • Primary Volcano Type
  • Last Known Eruption
  • 2.32°N
  • 37.97°E

  • 1707 m
    5599 ft

  • 222021
  • Latitude
  • Longitude

  • Summit

  • Volcano

The Global Volcanism Program has no activity reports for Marsabit.

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

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

Volcano Types

Pyroclastic cone(s)

Tectonic Setting

Rift zone
Continental crust (> 25 km)

Rock Types

Basalt / Picro-Basalt
Trachybasalt / Tephrite Basanite


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

Geological Summary

Marsabit is a massive, 6300 sq km basaltic shield volcano located 170 km east of the center of the East African Rift. Its slopes are dotted with 22 maars and 180 cinder cones, most of which are concentrated along NW- and NE-trending belts that cut across the thickly vegetated summit region. The main phase of shield construction occurred during the Pliocene. Quaternary activity shifted to explosive activity that formed maars accompanied by further extensive effusion of lava flows. The youngest dated lava flow at Marsabit has a Potassium-Argon age of 0.68 +/- 0.16 million years ago, but more recent activity has also occurred. The youngest lava flows are unvegetated, and Key (1987) mapped the post-shield cinder cones as Pleistocene to Recent in age.

The Global Volcanism Program is not aware of any Holocene eruptions from Marsabit. If this volcano has had large eruptions (VEI >= 4) prior to 10,000 years ago, information might be found on the Marsabit 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
Angar, Gof Maar
Barachuma, Gof Maar
Bongole, Gof Maar
Boro, Gof Maar
Dakara, Gof Maar
Hanjale, Gof Maar
Karsa Kile Maar
Kolbo, Gof Maar
Njale, Gof Maar

Photo Gallery

A Space Shuttle perspective shows part of Marsabit, a massive, 6300 sq km shield volcano located 170 km east of the center of the East African Rift. Its slopes are dotted with 180 cinder cones and 22 maars, such as the prominent circular one below the thickly vegetated summit of the shield volcano. Most of these vents are concentrated along NW- and NE-trending belts cutting across the summit. The youngest lava flows are unvegetated, and the post-shield cinder cones were mapped as Pleistocene to Holocene in age.

NASA Space Shuttle image STS026-37-2, 1988 (


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.

Key R M, 1987b. Geology of the Marsabit area. Rpt Mines Geol Dept Kenya, 108: 1-42.

Key R M, Rop B P, Rundle C C, 1987. The development of the late Cenozoic alkali basaltic Marsabit shield volcano, northern Kenya. J African Earth Sci, 6: 475-491.

Williams L A J, 1970. The volcanics of the Gregory Rift Valley, East Africa. Bull Volc, 34: 439-465.

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

Affiliated Databases

Large Eruptions of Marsabit 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.