BackgroundKarisimbi, the highest of the Virunga volcanoes, is a complex volcano with a symmetrical sharp-peaked summit. The 2-km-wide Branca caldera, located SE of the 4507-m-high summit, is filled by viscous lava flows and two explosion craters. The large, 1.2-km-wide Muntango pit crater is located south of the summit of the basanitic-to-trachytic volcano. A broad lava plain, formed from lava flows erupted within the caldera and along a chain of parasitic cones, extends SW. More than 100 parasitic cones erupted along a NNE-SSW zone that extends to the shores of Lake Kivu. The youngest Potassium-Argon date obtained is about 10,000 years before present (de Mulder, 1985). The youngest eruptions from Karisimbi produced a group of dome-shaped parasitic vents east of the caldera, which fed viscous lava flows that traveled as far as 12 km to the east, and lava flows from the SW-flank satellitic lava vents.
Smithsonian / GVP volcano information
Morning comes fast! A last photo of the lava lake in its giant crater, before fumes become too dense. Jean Michel, at the lower right, merges with the ground. Mikeno and ...
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