Contact | RSS | EN | DE | EL | ES | FR | IT | RU

Erta Ale volcano (Ethiopia) activity update: eruption continues, new flank lava lake

Wed, 31 May 2017, 09:26
09:26 AM | BY: T
Erta Ale's eruption on SENTINEL 2 satellite imagery on 29 May 2017 (image: SENTINEL2 / ESA-Copernicus data; Composition / annotations: Culture Volcan)
Erta Ale's eruption on SENTINEL 2 satellite imagery on 29 May 2017 (image: SENTINEL2 / ESA-Copernicus data; Composition / annotations: Culture Volcan)
Erta Ale's eruption on SENTINEL 2 satellite imagery on 19 May 2017 (image: SENTINEL2 / ESA-Copernicus data; Composition / annotations: Culture Volcan)
Erta Ale's eruption on SENTINEL 2 satellite imagery on 19 May 2017 (image: SENTINEL2 / ESA-Copernicus data; Composition / annotations: Culture Volcan)
Erta Ale's eruption on SENTINEL 2 satellite imagery on 9 May 2017 (image: SENTINEL2 / ESA-Copernicus data; Composition / annotations: Culture Volcan)
Erta Ale's eruption on SENTINEL 2 satellite imagery on 9 May 2017 (image: SENTINEL2 / ESA-Copernicus data; Composition / annotations: Culture Volcan)
Erta Ale's eruption on SENTINEL 2 satellite imagery on 30 Mar 2017 (image: SENTINEL2 / ESA-Copernicus data; Composition / annotations: Culture Volcan)
Erta Ale's eruption on SENTINEL 2 satellite imagery on 30 Mar 2017 (image: SENTINEL2 / ESA-Copernicus data; Composition / annotations: Culture Volcan)
The activity of the volcano remains intense and continues from both the summit (lava lake in south pit) and from the SE rift zone (lava lakes and lava flows).
The summit lava lake has gradually risen again, but undergoes frequent changes as the field report below describes.

On the SE rift zone, the effusive eruption also continues strongly into its 5th month. The lava lake, which had formed above the main fissure vent since January, has been producing multiple smaller and larger lava flows around it, with the main flow feeding a growing, avast pahoehoe lava flow field expanding to the NE.
This first rift zone lake crusted over during early-mid May, but a new lava lake formed soon after at a location about 350 m to the east. At around the same time, a new breakout of lava started in early May and has been feeding a new flow field overlapping the previous one into NE direction, currently more than 1500 m long and over 500 m wide.


Field report 11-15 April 2017
With collaboration with Addis Abeba University, a group visited Erta Ale to observe both the summit and the new fissure eruption which has been started on 22 Jan 2017. Our geologist guide Enku produced the following preliminary report:
"The group has observed substantial changes compared to conditions described in the past report and activity in February/March 2017.
The old southern Lava Lake surface has begin to be observed and sat 50 m below the North crater rim and 40m below the east crater rim. On top of the crust stood two coalesced hornitos in the NE part of the southern crater. The hornitos estimated to be 7m high and emitted high temperature and pressure so2 – rich gas and momentarily contained/emitted glowing molten lava.
The Old Lava Lake has chilled within 200m diameter in nearly circular in shape and the level of the Lava Lake would change every 30 Minutes as there is frequent collapse of the surface and then again Lava tubes from the wall of the crater feed and fill the crater with rapidly fresh flow of molten lava.
The group has also observed continues fountain of Lava from the surface about 25m high.
The surrounding surface around the rim/mouth of the crater seems to be solidified very well and people can now walk around the rim and able to observe the activities in the old southern Crater Lake. That is great news and I am very much enthusiastic to witness this.
The North pit is still the strong and noisy degassing of so2 spouted from several small hornitos grown in the central part of the solidified crust.
The new recently fissure eruption that has undergone in 22 Jan 2017 was no development of substantial lava overflow or fountaining. Instead the level of the Lava Lake went down about 10m from the rim and only a small fountaining occurred during the night time which rises to 3m to the rim level.
Still it is impossible to approach the new fissure (Lava Lake) eruption from a near distance and you can make the observation only from ~700m distance in the Northern part of the caldera.
So to conclude the status of Erta Ale, this days the old southern Lava Lake has started to rise up to the solidified walls of the widened crater and the level is changing now and then frequently.
"

Previous news

Sun, 2 Apr 2017, 17:04

Erta Ale volcano (Ethiopia) activity update: eruption continues from both summit and flank lava lake

Erta Ale's eruption on SENTINEL 2 satellite imagery on March 30th (image: SENTINEL2 / ESA-Copernicus data; Composition / annotations: Culture Volcan)
The activity remains very elevated at the volcano. Since the start of the (still ongoing) flank eruption in January, a second lava lake has formed at the flank eruption site and a growing lava field is active about 2-3 km northeast of it. ... Read all
Wed, 8 Feb 2017, 08:12

Erta Ale volcano (Ethiopia): overflowing lava lake 16-19 Jan 2017

A story in pictures of Erta Ale volcano's intense lava lake overflowing phase as witnessed by participants from our recent Volcano Special tour during 16-19 January 2017. Read all
Show more
Erta Ale volcano
Shield volcano 613 m / 2,011 ft
Danakil depression, Ethiopia, 13.6°N / 40.66°E
Current status: erupting (4 out of 5) Erta Ale volcano eruptions:
1873(?), 1903(?), 1904(?), 1906, 1940, 1960, 1967-2004, 2005-ongoing
Typical eruption style
Effusive. Persistant lava lake.

Erta Ale volcano tours

Danakil desert (Ethiopia)
Desert, salt and volcanoes
14 days expedition to Erta Ale volcano and Dallol hydrothermal field (Danakil desert, Ethiopia)
14 days / 13 nights - Moderate
Price $ 4530
no scheduled dates at present
Danakil desert (Ethiopia)
Erta Ale Volcano Special
in response to recent high activitiy in the Southern crater and growing lava lake (Danakil desert, Ethiopia)
8 days - Moderate
Price $ 2590
Custom and group dates
Try our free app!
Volcanoes & Earthquakes - new app for Android
Android | iOS version

More on VolcanoDiscovery

Support us - Help us upgrade our services!

We truly love working to bring you the latest volcano and earthquake data from around the world. Maintaining our website and our free apps does require, however, considerable time and resources.
We need financing to increase hard- and software capacity as well as support our editor team. We're aiming to achieve uninterrupted service wherever an earthquake or volcano eruption unfolds, and your donations can make it happen! Every donation will be highly appreciated. If you find the information useful and would like to support our team in integrating further features, write great content, and in upgrading our soft- and hardware, please make a donation (PayPal or Online credit card payment).

Planned features:
  • Improved multilanguage support
  • Tsunami alerts
  • Faster responsiveness
Thanks to your past donations, these features have been added recently:
  • Design upgrade
  • Detailed quake stats
  • Additional seismic data sources
Download and Upgrade the Volcanoes & Earthquakes app to get one of the fastest seismic and volcano alerts online:
Android | IOS
Thank you!
Sources: VolcanoDiscovery / VolcanoAdventures and other sources as noted.
Use of material: Most text and images on our websites are owned by us. Re-use is generally not permitted without authorization. Contact us for licensing rights.
Volcanoes & Earthquakes
VolcanoDiscovery Home
Volcanoes | Earthquakes | Photos | Volcano News | App
Adventure & Study Travel
Tours to Volcanoes and Volcanic Areas: walking tours, photo tours, study tours
Tours & Dates | FAQ | About us
Get our newsletter!
Company info
Contact | Legal info | Terms & conditions
Follow us
Follow us on facebook Follow us on Instagram Follow us on Twitter Visit our Youtube channel
EN | DE | EL | ES | FR | IT | RU
VolcanoDiscovery GmbH, Germany, Reg. nr.: HRB 103744, EU Tax Id: DE 310 395 322 owned and created by
Dr. Tom Pfeiffer, volcanologist, volcano photographer, tour organizer member of
IAVCEI
Volcanological Society
Ecotourism Greece
Insured by R+V
VolcanoDiscovery © 2004- All Rights Reserved | Privacy - cookie settings