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  • Country
  • Volcanic Region
  • Primary Volcano Type
  • Last Known Eruption
  • 1.15°N
  • 36.23°E

  • 1528 m
    5012 ft

  • 222052
  • Latitude
  • Longitude

  • Summit

  • Volcano

The Global Volcanism Program has no activity reports for Silali.

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

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

Basic Data

Volcano Number

Last Known Eruption



5050 BCE

1528 m / 5012 ft


Volcano Types

Lava dome(s)
Pyroclastic cone(s)

Rock Types

Trachyte / Trachyandesite
Basalt / Picro-Basalt
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 30-km-wide Silali trachytic shield volcano, the largest Quaternary volcano in the northern Gregory Rift, completely straddles the East African Rift. An impressive 5 x 8 km summit caldera with 300 m deep walls is thought to have formed about 63,000 years ago. Caldera formation is thought to have been incremental, related to eruption of the Kantenmening basaltic and trachytic lava flows. A series of summit-area lava benches formed by eruptions from circumferential fissures has produced a volcano morphologically similar to Galapagos Islands volcanoes. Northern, eastern, and southern flanks are cut by a prominent broad rift zone 10-km wide and 30-km long, dotted with numerous pyroclastic cones. Lava domes on the upper eastern flank formed during the late Pleistocene and early Holocene, until about 7 ka. Youthful parasitic cones abound on the caldera floor and on the northern and NE flanks; the youngest lava flows may be little more than a few hundred years old (Williams et al. 1984). Geothermal activity occurs within the caldera and on the upper eastern flanks.


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

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.

Key R M, 1987a. Geology of the Maralal area. Rpt Mines Geol Dept Kenya, 105: 1-93.

Macdonald R, Davies G R, Upton B G, Dunkley P N, Smith M, Leat P T, 1995. Petrogenesis of Silali volcano, Gregory Rift, Kenya. J Geol Soc London, 152: 703-720.

Smith M, Dunkley P N, Deino A, Williams L A J, McCall G J H, 1995. Geochronology, stratigraphy and structural evolution of Silali volcano, Gregory Rift, Kenya. J Geol Soc London, 152: 297-310.

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

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
5050 BCE ± 2000 years Unknown Confirmed   Ar/Ar Upper east flank
6050 BCE ± 3000 years Unknown Confirmed   Ar/Ar Eastern part of caldera
7050 BCE ± 2000 years Unknown Confirmed   Ar/Ar Upper east flank

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
Kaveterang Tuff ring 700 m 1° 14' 0" N 36° 8' 0" E


Feature Name Feature Type Elevation Latitude Longitude
Akiloset Springs Hot Spring
Kalnang'i Springs Hot Spring
Kapedo Hot Springs Hot Spring
Lorusio Hot Springs Hot Spring

Photo Gallery

The impressive 5 x 8 km summit caldera of Silali volcano is seen in an aerial view from the SE. Formation of the 300-m-deep caldera is related to the incremental eruption of basaltic and trachytic lava flows about 63,000 years ago. N-S-trending rift valley faults cutting across the volcano can be seen at the lower left. Some of the youthful parasitic cones on the caldera floor and flanks of Silali, the largest volcano of the northern Gregory Rift, may be little more than a few hundred years old.

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

Smithsonian Sample Collections Database

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

Affiliated Sites

Large Eruptions of Silali 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.