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Report on Nyamulagira (DR Congo) — February 1988


Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, vol. 13, no. 2 (February 1988)
Managing Editor: Lindsay McClelland.

Nyamulagira (DR Congo) Seismic swarm, then lava flow from N flank fissure vent

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 1988. Report on Nyamulagira (DR Congo) (McClelland, L., ed.). Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, 13:2. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.SEAN198802-223020


DR Congo

1.408°S, 29.2°E; summit elev. 3058 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

Seismic data from the [CRSN] indicated that N-flank lava production began at about [2200] on [30] December and continued until 4 January at about 1400. The new vent[s], named [Gafuranindi], were about [1700 and] 800 m N of the 1980 cone, along a fissure that trended N20°E. New lava, mostly pahoehoe as in 1980, covered an area 2.5 km long and 500-600 m wide (figure 6). The activity built [two small cones] to ~60 m above the lava field. The eruption was preceded by an earthquake swarm on 10-11 October. Seismic activity had then gradually increased until the onset of lava production.

Further Reference. Zana, N., Tanaka, K., Janssen, T., and Mukeng, K., 1988, Seismic behaviour of volcanoes Nyiragongo and Nyamuragira prior and during eruptive episodes: Proceedings, Kagoshima International Conference on Volcanoes, p. 547-550.

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, CRSN, Bukavu; H-L. Hody, Kigali, Rwanda.