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Report on Erta Ale (Ethiopia) — 17 June-23 June 2020

Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 17 June-23 June 2020
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2020. Report on Erta Ale (Ethiopia). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 17 June-23 June 2020. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Volcano Profile |  Weekly Report (17 June-23 June 2020)


Erta Ale

Ethiopia

13.6°N, 40.67°E; summit elev. 613 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Satellite data showed a minor thermal anomaly in Erta Ale’s S pit crater on 12 June and a larger anomaly on 17 June at the site of the previous lava lake.

Geologic Background. Erta Ale is an isolated basaltic shield that is the most active volcano in Ethiopia. The broad, 50-km-wide edifice rises more than 600 m from below sea level in the barren Danakil depression. Erta Ale is the namesake and most prominent feature of the Erta Ale Range. The volcano contains a 0.7 x 1.6 km, elliptical summit crater housing steep-sided pit craters. Another larger 1.8 x 3.1 km wide depression elongated parallel to the trend of the Erta Ale range is located SE of the summit and is bounded by curvilinear fault scarps on the SE side. Fresh-looking basaltic lava flows from these fissures have poured into the caldera and locally overflowed its rim. The summit caldera is renowned for one, or sometimes two long-term lava lakes that have been active since at least 1967, or possibly since 1906. Recent fissure eruptions have occurred on the N flank.

Source: Sentinel Hub