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Report on Dabbahu (Ethiopia) — 12 October-18 October 2005


Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
12 October-18 October 2005
Managing Editor: Gari Mayberry

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2005. Report on Dabbahu (Ethiopia). In: Mayberry, G (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 12 October-18 October 2005. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Weekly Report (12 October-18 October 2005)



12.595°N, 40.48°E; summit elev. 1401 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

Volcanic activity at Erta Ale discussed in the 5-11 October 2005 Weekly Volcanic Activity Report actually occurred at Dabbahu. The correct report is below.

A team of scientists visited the Da'Ure locality immediately adjacent to the NE flank of the Quaternary Dabbahu (or Boina) felsic complex on 4 and 5 October after receiving reports of volcanic activity there on 26 September. People in the area noted that on 26 September at about 1300 a very strong earthquake shook the area, and was followed by a dark column of "smoke" that rose high into the atmosphere and spread out to form a cloud, which darkened the area for 3 days and 3 nights. The scientists determined that a minor explosive eruption occurred from two semi-circular vents, producing ashfall that was ~5 cm thick near the vent. Ash deposits extended more than 500 m from the vent. Boulders emitted during the eruption were as large as 3 m and were deposited as far as 20 meters away. The scientists noted intense degassing from the vents, the scent of sulfur dioxide, and the sound of boiling water in the vents. As of about 10 October, the Addis Ababa University Geophysical Observatory reported that seismic activity in the area was continuing.

Geological Summary. Dabbahu (also known as Boina, Boyna, or Moina) is a Pleistocene-to-Holocene volcanic massif forming an axial range of the Afar depression SSW of the Alayta massif. Late-stage pantelleritic obsidian flows, lava domes, and pumice cones form the summit and upper flanks. The volcano rises above the Teru Plain and was built over a volumetrically dominant base of basaltic-to-trachyandesitic lava flows of a shield volcano. Late-stage basaltic fissure eruptions also occurred at the NW base of the volcano. Abundant fumaroles are located along the crest of the volcano and extend NE towards Alayta. The first historical eruption took place from a fissure vent on the NE flank in September 2005, producing ashfall deposits and a small pumice dome. More than 6000 people were evacuated from neighboring villages.

Source: Gezahegn Yirgu, Department of Earth Sciences, Addis Ababa University