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Report on Erta Ale (Ethiopia) — 24 August-30 August 2022


Erta Ale

Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
24 August-30 August 2022
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2022. Report on Erta Ale (Ethiopia). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 24 August-30 August 2022. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Weekly Report (24 August-30 August 2022)

Erta Ale

Ethiopia

13.6°N, 40.67°E; summit elev. 613 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Thermal anomalies of variable intensities at Erta Ale’s N and S pit craters were periodically identified in satellite images during August. On 1 August there were two anomalies in the S pit crater and none in the N pit crater. Images were cloudy on 6 and 11 August. On 16 August two anomalies were again visible in the S pit crater while one large anomaly occupied the N crater. Translucent weather clouds obscured views on 21 August, though two anomalies were visible in the S pit crater. Dense weather clouds covered the N pit crater on 26 August and obscured the S pit crater, though one anomaly was visible.

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