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Erta Ale volcano: false eruption report

do, 20 okt 2005, 20:35
20:35 PM | DOOR: TOM PFEIFFER

Volcanic activity at Erta Ale reported previously actually occurred at Dabbahu:


A team of scientists visited the Da'Ure locality immediately adjacent to the NE flank of the Quaternary Dabbahu (or Boina) felsic complex on 4 and 5 October after receiving reports of volcanic activity there on 26 September.
People in the area noted that on 26 September at about 1300 a very strong earthquake shook the area, and was followed by a dark column of "smoke" that rose high into the atmosphere and spread out to form a cloud, which darkened the area for 3 days and 3 nights. The scientists determined that a minor explosive eruption occurred from two semi-circular vents, producing ashfall that was ~5 cm thick near the vent. Ash deposits extended more than 500 m from the vent. Boulders emitted during the eruption were as large as 3 m and were deposited as far as 20 meters away. The scientists noted intense degassing from the vents, the scent of sulfur dioxide, and the sound of boiling water in the vents.  As of about 10 October, the Addis Ababa University Geophysical Observatory reported that seismic activity in the area was continuing.


Background: Dabbahu, also known as Boina or Moina, is a Holocene volcanic massif forming an axial range of the Afar depression SSW of the Alayta massif. Pantelleritic obsidian flows, lava domes, and pumice cones form the summit and upper flanks of the volcano, which rises above the Teru Plain and was built over a base of basaltic-to-trachytic lava flows of a shield volcano. Late-stage basaltic fissure eruptions occurred at the NW base of the volcano. Abundant fumaroles are located along the crest of the volcano and extend NE towards Alayta.


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Source: Gezahegn Yirgu, Department of Earth Sciences, Addis Ababa University (published in the GVP/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report 12-18 October 2005)


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