Harrat Rahat

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  • Country
  • Volcanic Region
  • Primary Volcano Type
  • Last Known Eruption
  • 23.08°N
  • 39.78°E

  • 1744 m
    5720 ft

  • 231070
  • Latitude
  • Longitude

  • Summit

  • Volcano

The Global Volcanism Program has no activity reports for Harrat Rahat.

The Global Volcanism Program has no Weekly Reports available for Harrat Rahat.

The Global Volcanism Program has no Bulletin Reports available for Harrat Rahat.

Basic Data

Volcano Number

Last Known Eruption



1256 CE

1744 m / 5720 ft


Volcano Types

Volcanic field

Rock Types

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

Tectonic Setting

Continental crust (> 25 km)


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

Geological Summary

Saudi Arabia's largest lava field, 20,000 sq km Harrat Rahat extends for 300 km south of the holy city of Al Madinah (Medina). Four coalescing lava fields erupted from offset NNW-trending vent systems comprise Harrat Rahat, which has an average width of 60 km. Lava flows extend as far as 100 km west of the axis of the field. Basaltic scoria cones dominate Harrat Rahat, but the volcanic field has also produced more silicic trachy-basaltic to trachytic rocks. Small shield volcanoes and pelean-type lava domes with associated pyroclastic-flow and -surge deposits are also present. Activity has migrated to the north, resulting in eruptions in historical time near Madinah. The best-known eruption took place in 1256 CE, when a 0.5 cu km lava flow erupted from six aligned scoria cones and traveled 23 km to within 4 km of Madinah.


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

Brown G F, Schmidt D L, Huffman A C Jr, 1984. Geology of the Arabian Peninsula western shield area. U S Geol Surv, Open-File Rpt, 84:203: 1-217.

Camp V E, Hooper P R, Roobol M J, White D L, 1987. The Madinah eruption, Saudi Arabia: magma mixing and simultaneous extrusion of the three basaltic chemical types. Bull Volc, 49: 489-508.

Camp V E, Roobol M J, 1989. The Arabian continental alkali basalt province: Part I. Evolution of Harrat Rahat, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Geol Soc Amer Bull, 101: 71-95.

Camp V E, Roobol M J, 1991. Geologic map of the Cenozoic lava field of Harrat Rahat, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia Directorate Gen Min Res, Map GM-123, 1:250,000 geol map and text.

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

Neumann van Padang M, 1963. Arabia and the Indian Ocean. Catalog of Active Volcanoes of the World and Solfatara Fields, Rome: IAVCEI, 16: 1-64.

Eruptive History

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

Start Date Stop Date Eruption Certainty VEI Evidence Activity Area or Unit
[ 1292 ] [ Unknown ] Uncertain     Near Madinah
1256 Jun 5 1256 Jul 27 (?) Confirmed 3 Historical Observations Fissure 20 km SE of Madinah
0641 Unknown Confirmed 2 Historical Observations West of Madinah

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.


Raha, Harrat er-


Feature Name Feature Type Elevation Latitude Longitude
Bani Abdullah, Harrat Volcanic field 23° 30' 0" N 40° 5' 0" E
Hurus, Jabal al Cone 24° 16' 0" N 39° 53' 0" E
Ma'tan, Jabal Cone 24° 19' 0" N 39° 50' 0" E
Rashid, Harrat
    Medina, Harrat el-
    Madinah, Harrat
Volcanic field 24° 15' 0" N 39° 45' 0" E
Turrah, Harrat Volcanic field 23° 0' 0" N 40° 10' 0" E


Feature Name Feature Type Elevation Latitude Longitude
Diba' Al Hurus, Jibal Dome 24° 14' 0" N 39° 51' 0" E
Umm Ruqubah, Jabal Dome 24° 5' 0" N 39° 57' 0" E

Photo Gallery

The northern part of Saudi Arabia's largest lava field, 20,000 sq km Harrat Rahat, is seen in this Space Shuttle image (with north to the upper left). Harrat Rahat extends for 300 km south of the holy city of Madinah (Medina), the light-colored area at the top-center. Although basaltic scoria cones dominate Harrat Rahat, small shield volcanoes and pelean-type lava domes are also present. The best-known eruption took place in 1256 AD, when the large dark-colored flow seen extending to the upper right traveled 23 km to within 4 km of Madinah.

NASA Space Shuttle image ISS001-344-27, 2001 (http://eol.jsc.nasa.gov/).

Smithsonian Sample Collections Database

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

Affiliated Sites

Large Eruptions of Harrat Rahat 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.