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Report on Nyamuragira (DR Congo) — 1 April-7 April 2009

Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 1 April-7 April 2009
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2009. Report on Nyamuragira (DR Congo). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 1 April-7 April 2009. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Volcano Profile |  Weekly Report (1 April-7 April 2009)


DR Congo

1.408°S, 29.2°E; summit elev. 3058 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

A recent report from Goma Volcano Observatory (GVO) noted a seismic swarm from Nyamuragira during 23-27 January and increased seismicity along the East African Rift since then. Scientists who visited the Nyiragongo summit crater on 22 and 24 March saw intense fumarolic activity in the summit crater of Nyamuragira through binoculars. The activity was concentrated in the southern area. GVO noted that seismic swarms typically precede eruptions by 3-5 months and that an eruption could occur from the southern side.

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.

Source: Observatoire Volcanologique de Goma (OVG)