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Photo of this volcano
  • Kenya
  • Shield
  • Unknown - Evidence Credible
  • Country
  • Primary Volcano Type
  • Last Known Eruption
  • 1.151°S
  • 36.357°E

  • 2356 m
    7730 ft

  • 222110
  • Latitude
  • Longitude

  • Summit

  • Volcano

The Global Volcanism Program has no activity reports for Suswa.

The Global Volcanism Program has no Weekly Reports available for Suswa.

The Global Volcanism Program has no Bulletin Reports available for Suswa.

This compilation of synonyms and subsidiary features may not be comprehensive. Features are organized into four major categories: Cones, Craters, Domes, and Thermal Features. Synonyms of features appear indented below the primary name. In some cases additional feature type, elevation, or location details are provided.

Eruptive History

The Global Volcanism Program is not aware of any Holocene eruptions from Suswa. If this volcano has had large eruptions (VEI >= 4) prior to 10,000 years ago, information might be found on the Suswa page in the LaMEVE (Large Magnitude Explosive Volcanic Eruptions) database, a part of the Volcano Global Risk Identification and Analysis Project (VOGRIPA).

Deformation History

There is data available for 1 deformation periods. Expand each entry for additional details.

Deformation during 1997 - 2000 [Subsidence; Observed by InSAR]

Start Date: 1997 Stop Date: 2000 Direction: Subsidence Method: InSAR
Magnitude: 5.000 cm Spatial Extent: Unknown Latitude: Unknown Longitude: Unknown
Figure (see Caption)

Suswa in 1997?2000. Each fringe (blue-red cycle) represents 2.8 cm of displacement in the satellite line of sight.

From: Biggs et al. 2009a.

Reference List: Biggs et al. 2009a.

Full References:

Biggs J, Amelung F, Gourmelen N, Dixon T, 2009. InSAR Observations of 2007 Tanzania Rifting Episode Reveals Mixed Fault and Dyke Extension in an Immature Continental Rift. Geophysical Journal International. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-246X.2009.04262.x

Emission History

There is no Emissions History data available for Suswa.

Photo Gallery

Suswa is a broad low shield volcano that is cut by the southernmost caldera of the Kenya rift. The 8 x 12 km caldera is filled by a broad lava cone. An unusual 5-km-wide ring graben, seen here from the west, cuts the lava cone. The ring graben isolates a tilted island block (left). Ol Doinyo Nyukie ("The Red Mountain") forms the summit of Suswa volcano (right). The latest eruptions of Suswa have originated from parasitic vents that have issued still-unvegetated lava flows that may be only a century or so old.

Copyrighted photo by Katia and Maurice Krafft, 1976.
The central caldera of Suswa, the southernmost caldera of the Kenya rift, contains a 5-km-wide caldera. Construction of an early shield volcano was followed by eruption of voluminous pyroclastic flows and lava flows that accompanied formation of the caldera. The latest eruptions have originated from vents that have issued still-unvegetated lava flows that may be only a century or so old. N is to the top in this NASA Landsat image.

NASA Landsat 7 image (worldwind.arc.nasa.gov)
Suswa is the southernmost volcano of the Central Kenya Peralkaline Province (CKPP). The shield volcano has nested summit calderas that are visible in the center of this December 2019 Planet Labs satellite image mosaic (N at the top), with widths of 12 km for the largest caldera and 5.5 km for the inner caldera. More recent lava flows appear darker in this image.

Satellite image courtesy of Planet Labs Inc., 2019 (https://www.planet.com/).
GVP Map Holdings

The maps shown below have been scanned from the GVP map archives and include the volcano on this page. Clicking on the small images will load the full 300 dpi map. Very small-scale maps (such as world maps) are not included. The maps database originated over 30 years ago, but was only recently updated and connected to our main database. We welcome users to tell us if they see incorrect information or other problems with the maps; please use the Contact GVP link at the bottom of the page to send us email.

Title: Nairobi (Administrative Boundaries Overlay)
Publisher: Survey of Kenya
Country: Kenya
Year: 1980
Series: Y503 (SK60)
Map Type: Topographic
Scale: 1:250,000
Map of Nairobi  (Administrative Boundaries Overlay)

Title: Sakutiek
Publisher: DOS
Country: Kenya-E Af
Year: 1975
Series: Y731 (423)
Map Type: Topographic
Scale: 1:50,000
Map of Sakutiek

Title: Geological Map of the Suswa Area
Publisher: Kenya MENR Mines and Geological Department
Country: Kenya AF
Year: 1970
Map Type: Geology
Scale: 1:125,000
Map of Geological Map of the Suswa Area

Title: Mombasa-Nairobi
Publisher: US Army Map Service
Country: Africa
Year: 1944
Series: AMS
Map Type: Topographic
Scale: 1:1,000,000
Map of Mombasa-Nairobi
Smithsonian Sample Collections Database

There are no samples for Suswa in the Smithsonian's NMNH Department of Mineral Sciences Rock and Ore collection.

External Sites