Meru

Photo of this volcano
Google Earth icon
  Google Earth Placemark
  • Country
  • Volcanic Region
  • Primary Volcano Type
  • Last Known Eruption
  • 3.25°S
  • 36.75°E

  • 4565 m
    14973 ft

  • 222160
  • Latitude
  • Longitude

  • Summit
    Elevation

  • Volcano
    Number

The Global Volcanism Program has no activity reports for Meru.

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

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

Meru volcano, Africa's fourth highest mountain, is dwarfed by neighboring Kilimanjaro volcano, but is an impressive peak in its own right. Seen from the west, Meru has a conical profile, but it contains a 5-km-wide breached caldera on the east side that formed about 7800 years ago when the summit of the volcano collapsed. Associated massive debris avalanches and lahars traveled as far as the western flank of Kilimanjaro volcano. Parasitic cones and lava domes are located on all sides; a maar field is present on the lower north flank. The historically active Ash Cone forms a prominent symmetrical cone inside the breached caldera. A second vent between it and the caldera headwall has fed lava flows that cover much of the caldera floor.

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

Start Date Stop Date Eruption Certainty VEI Evidence Activity Area or Unit
1910 Oct 26 1910 Dec 22 Confirmed 2 Historical Observations Ash Cone
1886 (?) Unknown Confirmed 0 Historical Observations Dome NW of Ash Cone
1878 ± 1 years Unknown Confirmed 2 Historical Observations Dome NW of Ash Cone
5850 BCE (?) Unknown Confirmed 4 Radiocarbon (uncorrected) Meru caldera

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.



Synonyms
Orok, Oldoinyo | Black Mountain


Cones
Feature Name Feature Type Elevation Latitude Longitude
Ash Cone
    Merker Kegel
Cone 3669 m 3° 14' 0" S 36° 46' 0" E
Great Domberg Hill Cone 1551 m 3° 21' 0" S 36° 57' 0" E
Little Meru Stratovolcano 3795 m 3° 13' 0" S 36° 47' 0" E
Matuffa Crater Cone - Crater 3° 21' 0" S 36° 59' 0" E
Ngurdoto Crater Cone - Crater 1853 m 3° 17' 0" S 36° 56' 0" E
Sambu, Oldonyo Cone 3° 10' 0" S 36° 39' 0" E


Domes
Feature Name Feature Type Elevation Latitude Longitude
Bastioni Hill Dome 3° 17' 0" S 36° 53' 0" E
Burlow Hill Dome 3° 16' 0" S 36° 49' 0" E
Button Hill Dome 3° 10' 0" S 36° 43' 0" E
Naigonesoit Dome 3° 9' 0" S 36° 44' 0" E
Songe Dome 2109 m 3° 9' 0" S 36° 47' 0" E
Tululusia Dome 3° 14' 0" S 36° 50' 0" E
Meru volcano (upper right), Africa's fourth highest mountain, is seen from the ice-covered summit plateau of neighboring Kilimanjaro volcano. The 4565-m-high Meru stratovolcano is cut by a 5-km-wide breached caldera on the east side that formed about 7800 years ago when the summit of the volcano collapsed. A massive debris avalanche and lahar traveled to the east as far as the western flank of Kilimanjaro volcano.

Photo by Tom Jorstad, 1991 (Smithsonian Institution).

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.

Cattermole P, 1982. Meru - A rift valley giant. Volcano News, 11: 1-3.

Katsui Y (ed), 1971. List of the World Active Volcanoes. Volc Soc Japan draft ms, (limited circulation), 160 p.

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.

Wilkinson P, Mitchell J G, Cattermole P J, Downie C, 1986. Volcanic chronology of the Meru-Kilimanjaro region, northern Tanzania. J Geol Soc London, 143: 601-605.

Volcano Types

Stratovolcano
Caldera
Pyroclastic cone
Lava dome

Tectonic Setting

Rift zone
Continental crust (> 25 km)

Rock Types

Major
Phonolite
Foidite
Phono-tephrite / Tephri-phonolite
Trachyte / Trachyandesite
Basalt / Picro-Basalt

Population

Within 5 km
Within 10 km
Within 30 km
Within 100 km
0
2,506
828,942
2,375,631

Affiliated Databases

Large Eruptions of Meru 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.