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Erta Ale volcano (Danakil, Ethiopia): new fissure eruption on lower ESE flank

Thu, 30 May 2019, 15:09
15:09 PM | BY: T
Satellite image of Erta Ale from yesterday shows a new hot spot (possible area with new lava flows) on the ESE flank (image: Sentinal-hub)
Satellite image of Erta Ale from yesterday shows a new hot spot (possible area with new lava flows) on the ESE flank (image: Sentinal-hub)
A satellite image taken yesterday shows a new hot spot on the SES flank, at about 12 km distance from the summit caldera. Following the report of a possible eruption from the Afdera region, this is likely the area in question and thus becomes a report of Erta Ale volcano instead.
If the thermal signal is from lava, which is very likely, it seems that a new eruptive fissure has opened up there.
An interpretation is that the central conduit still being largely blocked following the collapse events in early 2017 force magma to find alternative ("easier") pathways, such as during the (still ongoing) flank eruption from vents on the southern and southeastern flanks that followed.

Original report:
Our expedition leader and correspondent Enku reported that an explosion occurred in the Danakil Depression around 01:47 am local time on 27 May, and possibly came from a (presumably short-lived) eruption.
According to his report, a fissure? opened in the area north of Afdera volcano and south of the Erta Ale range, near the contact between the salt plain and the volcanic range. Contacts from on location and at the university confirmed him that an eruption actually took place and formed a small cone. "Afar friends could not tell me any thing more than they saw a smoke somewhere in this eruption area."

Previous news

Fri, 12 Oct 2018, 08:28

Erta Ale (Ethiopia): summit lava lake revives as activity at flank eruption site slows down

Daytime view of the active lava lake is often obscured by strong degassing (image: Enku Mulugetu, September 2018)
Our Ethiopian expedition organiser Enku made a reconnaissance trip to Erta Ale in September and reported the current status of this continuously changing active volcano. It appears that over summer the lava lake in the summit crater slowly rose and remains very active, but that the fissure eruption at the volcano's south flank (which started during the dramatic change of volcanic activity mid January 2017) slowed down. ... Read all
Wed, 25 Jul 2018, 15:54

Erta Ale (Ethiopia) : activity continues both at the summit and the 2017 flank eruption site

The lava lake inside the Southern Crater of Erta Ale’s summit caldera, shown here on 26 June 2018, is slowly rising and growing (image: Rebecca Wu)
Danakil expedition organiser Enku reports after our recent tour to this Ethiopian shield volcano that activity continues both at Erta Ale's summit caldera and the fissure eruption site on its SE flank with sustained lava lakes. ... 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
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