Logo link to homepage

Report on Nyamulagira (DR Congo) — February 1980


Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, vol. 5, no. 2 (February 1980)
Managing Editor: David Squires.

Nyamulagira (DR Congo) Hot tephra and gases kill livestock and plants

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 1980. Report on Nyamulagira (DR Congo) (Squires, D., ed.). Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, 5:2. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.SEAN198002-223020


DR Congo

1.408°S, 29.2°E; summit elev. 3058 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

Citing an information bulletin sent to regional authorities by scientists at IRS, AZAP news agency reported that extrusion of a new lava flow began at 1423 on 11 February from the N flank vent active since 30 January. By 20 February the new flow had advanced ~7 km and the extrusion rate had increased. Incandescent tephra and poisonous gas spread by violent winds killed livestock and vegetation, but no loss of human life has been reported.

Geological Summary. Africa's most active volcano, Nyamulagira (also known as Nyamuragira), is a massive high-potassium basaltic shield about 25 km N of Lake Kivu and 13 km NNW of the steep-sided Nyiragongo volcano. The summit is truncated by a small 2 x 2.3 km caldera that has walls up to about 100 m high. Documented eruptions have occurred within the summit caldera, as well as from the numerous flank fissures and cinder cones. A lava lake in the summit crater, active since at least 1921, drained in 1938, at the time of a major flank eruption. Recent lava flows extend down the flanks more than 30 km from the summit as far as Lake Kivu; extensive lava flows from this volcano have covered 1,500 km2 of the western branch of the East African Rift.

Information Contacts: AZAP; IRS.