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Report on Nyamuragira (DR Congo) — January 1988

Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, vol. 13, no. 1 (January 1988)
Managing Editor: Lindsay McClelland.

Nyamuragira (DR Congo) Lava flow and fountaining

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 1988. Report on Nyamuragira (DR Congo) (McClelland, L., ed.). Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, 13:1. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.SEAN198801-223020.


DR Congo

1.408°S, 29.2°E; summit elev. 3058 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

An eruption began at about 2200 on 30 December from a new vent ~600 m NW of the 1980 Gasenyi Cone [but see 13:2]. A lava flow with an average width of ~500 m extended 2.5 km N. On the morning of 3 January a lava fountain was still intermittently active. Eruptive activity probably stopped that afternoon.

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: N. Zana, Institut de Recherche Scientifique, Bukavu; H-L. Hody, GEOVAR, Kigali, Rwanda.