The Barrier

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  • Country
  • Volcanic Region
  • Primary Volcano Type
  • Last Known Eruption
  • 2.32°N
  • 36.57°E

  • 1032 m
    3385 ft

  • 222030
  • Latitude
  • Longitude

  • Summit

  • Volcano

The Global Volcanism Program has no activity reports for The Barrier.

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

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

Basic Data

Volcano Number

Last Known Eruption



1921 CE

1032 m / 3385 ft


Volcano Types

Pyroclastic cone(s)

Rock Types

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

Tectonic Setting

Rift zone
Continental crust (> 25 km)


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

Geological Summary

The Barrier volcanic complex separates Lake Turkana from the broad Suguta Trough to the south, the site of a former lake. The volcano is comprised of four overlapping shield volcanoes, with the youngest, Kakorinya, located over the axis of the East African Rift. Kalolenyang volcano lies west of Kakorinya, and Likaiu West and Likaiu East volcano are located to the ENE. A 3.8-km-wide summit caldera was formed at Kakorinya volcano about 92,000 years ago. Youthful-looking trachytic and phonolitic lava domes and flows erupted within the caldera and along its ring fracture fill much of the caldera floor. Early Holocene fissure-related scoria cones and lava flows dot the volcano's southern and northern flanks. Solfataric fields are located within the caldera and on the western and southern flanks of the volcano. Historical eruptions from Teleki's and Andrew's cones on the northern and southern flanks, respectively, have produced basaltic explosive activity and lava flows during the 19th and 20th centuries.


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

Bloomer S H, Curtis P C, Karson J A, 1989. Geochemical variation of Quaternary basaltic volcanoes in the Turkana Rift, northern Kenya. J African Earth Sci, 8: 511-532.

Campbell Smith W, 1938. Petrographic description of volcanic rocks from Turkana, Kenya Colony, with notes on their field occurrence from the manscript of Mr. A.M. Champion. Quart J Geol Soc London, 94: 528-531.

Dodson R G, 1963. Geology of the South Horr area. Geol Surv Kenya Rpt, 60: 1-53.

Dunkley P N, Smith M, Allen D A, Darling W G, 1993. The geothermal activity and geology of the northern sector of the Kenya Rift Valley. Brit Geol Surv Res Rpt, SC/93/1: 1-185.

Ochieng J O, Wilkinson A F, Kagasi J, Kimomo S, 1988. Geology of the Loiyangalani area. Rpt Mines Geol Dept Kenya, 107: 1-53.

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.

Smith M, 1991. (pers. comm.).

Williams L A J, Macdonald R, Chapman G R, 1984. Late Quaternary caldera volcanoes of the Kenya Rift Valley. J Geophys Res, 89: 8553-8570.

Eruptive History

Summary of Holocene eruption dates and Volcanic Explosivity Indices (VEI).

Start Date Stop Date Eruption Certainty VEI Evidence Activity Area or Unit
1921 Dec 31 ± 365 days Unknown Confirmed 2 Historical Observations North flank (Teleki)
[ 1920 ± 3 years ] [ Unknown ] Uncertain     South flank (Andrew's Volcano)
1917 Unknown Confirmed 2 Historical Observations Andrew's or Teleki's Volcanoes
[ 1906 ] [ Unknown ] Uncertain     Andrew's or Teleki's Cones
1897 May (in or before) Unknown Confirmed 2 Historical Observations North flank (Teleki) and Likaiu
1895 Unknown Confirmed 2 Historical Observations North flank (Teleki's Cone)
1888 Unknown Confirmed 0 Historical Observations North flank (Teleki's Cone)
1871 ± 3 years Unknown Confirmed 2 Historical Observations North flank (Teleki's Cone)
1090 ± 50 years Unknown Confirmed 0 Magnetism North flank
1050 ± 150 years Unknown Confirmed 0 Magnetism North flank
1030 ± 150 years Unknown Confirmed 0 Magnetism North flank
7710 BCE ± 200 years Unknown Confirmed   Tephrochronology North (Abili Agituk) and south flanks

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.


Sil | Nagaramasaina


Feature Name Feature Type Elevation Latitude Longitude
Andrew's Cone
Stratovolcano 915 m 2° 20' 0" N 36° 33' 0" E
Kakorinya Shield volcano 1030 m 2° 19' 0" N 36° 34' 0" E
Kalolenyang Shield volcano 1128 m 2° 19' 0" N 36° 31' 0" E
Likaiu East Shield volcano
Likaiu West Shield volcano
Murniau Tuff cone
Tuff cone 582 m 2° 26' 0" N 36° 38' 0" E
Nagira Mwaiten Cone
Namurinyang Tuff cone 735 m 2° 15' 0" N 36° 38' 0" E
    Cathedral Rock
Tuff cone 414 m 2° 13' 0" N 36° 35' 0" E
Teleki's Cone Cone 646 m 2° 22' 0" N 36° 36' 0" E
    Abili Agituk
Tuff cone 573 m 2° 26' 0" N 36° 36' 0" E


Feature Name Feature Type Elevation Latitude Longitude
Logkipi Geyser Geyser
    Saguta Swamp
    Sukuta See
    Engare Sukuta
Thermal 425 m 2° 15' 0" N 36° 35' 0" E

Photo Gallery

A northward-looking aerial view shows the summit caldera of Kakorinya volcano of The Barrier volcanic complex with Lake Turkana in the distance. The 3.8-km-wide summit caldera was formed about 92,000 years ago, and youthful-looking post-caldera lava domes and flows fill much of the caldera floor. Fresh-looking lava flows and tuff cones occur along the shores of Lake Turkana. Teleki's Cone on the northern flank and Andrew's Cone (lower left foreground) on the southern flank have been the source of historical lava flows.

Photo by Martin Smith, 1993 (copyright British Geological Survey, NERC).

Smithsonian Sample Collections Database

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

Affiliated Sites

Large Eruptions of The Barrier 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.