Report on Erta Ale (Ethiopia) — 16 September-22 September 2020
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
16 September-22 September 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, 16 September-22 September 2020. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
13.6°N, 40.67°E; summit elev. 613 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
Satellite data showed thermal anomalies in both of Erta Ale’s S and N pit craters in mid-August, though by 5 September only the N pit had anomalous temperatures.
Geological Summary. The Erta Ale basaltic shield volcano is the most active in Ethiopia, with a 50-km-wide edifice that rises more than 600 m from below sea level in the barren Danakil depression. It is the namesake and most prominent feature of the Erta Ale Range. The volcano includes a 0.7 x 1.6 km elliptical summit crater hosting 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 usually also holds at least one long-term lava lake that has been active since at least 1967, or possibly since 1906. Recent fissure eruptions have occurred on the N flank.
Source: Sentinel Hub