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Report on Nyamuragira (DR Congo) — February 1980

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

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

Please cite this report as:

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

Volcano Profile |  Complete Bulletin


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.

Geologic Background. Africa's most active volcano, Nyamuragira, is a massive high-potassium basaltic shield about 25 km N of Lake Kivu. Also known as Nyamulagira, it has generated extensive lava flows that cover 1500 km2 of the western branch of the East African Rift. The broad low-angle shield volcano contrasts dramatically with the adjacent steep-sided Nyiragongo to the SW. The summit is truncated by a small 2 x 2.3 km caldera that has walls up to about 100 m high. Historical eruptions have occurred within the summit caldera, as well as from the numerous fissures and cinder cones on the flanks. A lava lake in the summit crater, active since at least 1921, drained in 1938, at the time of a major flank eruption. Historical lava flows extend down the flanks more than 30 km from the summit, reaching as far as Lake Kivu.

Information Contacts: AZAP; IRS.