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Global Volcanism Program | Image GVP-00191

The chemically exotic lavas of Tanzania's Ol Doinyo Lengai volcano have unusually low temperatures and viscosities; it is the only volcano actively erupting carbonatitic (sodium carbonate) lava flows. Its lava flows are only incandescent during nighttime. The flows are usually only a few centimeters thick and travel only a few tens of meters from their source. This 1966 photo shows a small lava flow, only a meter wide, with miniature channels and levees (note the person at the top for scale). Photo by Gordon Davies, 1966 (courtesy of Celia Nyamweru, Kenyatta University).

The chemically exotic lavas of Tanzania's Ol Doinyo Lengai volcano have unusually low temperatures and viscosities; it is the only volcano actively erupting carbonatitic (sodium carbonate) lava flows. Its lava flows are only incandescent during nighttime. The flows are usually only a few centimeters thick and travel only a few tens of meters from their source. This 1966 photo shows a small lava flow, only a meter wide, with miniature channels and levees (note the person at the top for scale).

Photo by Gordon Davies, 1966 (courtesy of Celia Nyamweru, Kenyatta University).

Keywords: lava flow | carbonatite | effusive | eruption | lava


Lengai, Ol Doinyo