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Report on Nyamulagira (DR Congo) — January 1988


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

Nyamulagira (DR Congo) Lava flow and fountaining

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 1988. Report on Nyamulagira (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.

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