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Report on Karthala (Comoros) — 10 January-16 January 2007

Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 10 January-16 January 2007
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2007. Report on Karthala (Comoros). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 10 January-16 January 2007. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Volcano Profile |  Weekly Report (10 January-16 January 2007)


Karthala

Comoros

11.75°S, 43.38°E; summit elev. 2361 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


According to news articles, scientists from the Karthala Volcano Observatory reported that an eruption occurred at Karthala during the evening of 12 January. Residents reported incandescence at the summit and strong fumes. Several strong tremors and earthquakes occasionally larger than M 4 were registered on 13 January. A lava lake that formed in the volcano's crater was seen during aerial observations on 15 January.

Geologic Background. The southernmost and largest of the two shield volcanoes forming Grand Comore Island (also known as Ngazidja Island), Karthala contains a 3 x 4 km summit caldera generated by repeated collapse. Elongated rift zones extend to the NNW and SE from the summit of the Hawaiian-style basaltic shield, which has an asymmetrical profile that is steeper to the S. The lower SE rift zone forms the Massif du Badjini, a peninsula at the SE tip of the island. Historical eruptions have modified the morphology of the compound, irregular summit caldera. More than twenty eruptions have been recorded since the 19th century from the summit caldera and vents on the N and S flanks. Many lava flows have reached the sea on both sides of the island. An 1860 lava flow from the summit caldera traveled ~13 km to the NW, reaching the W coast to the N of the capital city of Moroni.

Sources: Reuters, UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)