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News
Wednesday, Aug 07, 2019
The Observatoire Volcanologique de Goma (OVG) reported that during 1-31 July the level Nyiragongo’s lava lake had dropped, making it not visible in the daytime. Incandescence from the lake continued to be visible at night. Activity also declined at a small eruptive cone that formed in the crater in 2014. [more]

Saturday, Jun 24, 2017
A selection of photographs taken by Ingrid Smet during our June 2017 Nyiragongo lava lake and mountain gorillas expedition in the DR Congo which included a 3 days / nights stay on Nyiragongo volcano. ... [more]

 

Nyiragongo volcano

Stratovolcano 3470 m / 11,384 ft
DRCongo, -1.52°S / 29.25°E
Current status: erupting (4 out of 5)
Nyiragongo webcams / live data | Reports
Nyiragongo volcano videos
Nyiragongo volcano books | Tours
Last update: 7 Aug 2019
Typical eruption style: Large effusive eruptions; persistant lava lake in the summit crater.
Nyiragongo volcano eruptions: 1884, 1894, 1898, 1899, 1900, 1901, 1902, 1905, 1906, 1908(?), 1911, 1918, 1920-21, 1927-77, 1977, 1982, 1994-96, 2002 (17 Jan.), 2002-ongoing (lava lake) The lava lake of Nyiragongo volcanoNo recent earthquakes
TimeMag. / DepthDistanceLocation
Nyiragongo (also spelled Niragongo), one of the world's most beautiful and active volcanoes, is a large stratovolcano near Lake Kivu at the eastern border of DRCongo with Rwanda in the Virunga National Park.
It has a 1.2 km diameter summit caldera containing the world's most active and largest lava lake.
Nyiragongo is infamous for its extremely fluid lava that runs as water when the lava lake drains. On January 17, 2002, Nyiragongo erupted and the lava lake drained from fissures on its western flanks. The city centre of the Goma town, the capital of the East Virunga province, had been destroyed by voluninous lava flows. 200,000 people were left homeless, adding to the human desaster caused by frequent civil wars.

Background:

Nyiragongo, located in the Western branch of the Rift Valley near Lake Kivu and the Congolese-Rwandese border, is one of the world's most active volcanoes. It is notorious for its lava lake and producing lateral eruptions with extremely fluid, fast-moving lava flows that repeatedly devastated areas around the volcano, such as the Goma desaster on January 2002, when a lava flow destroyed much of the city's commercial center and promted 200,000 people to flee.

The large lava lake contained in its deep summit crater, now active again, became famous in the 1960's and 70's when volcanologists such as the Kraffts and Tazieff studied it. It had been active for half a century before it drained in one of the volcano's recent most catastrophic eruptions in 1977: through openings in its outer flanks in 1977, a huge lava flow poured out and killed hundreds of people. A similar event happened again in January 2002, when lava flows from flank vents drained the lake and cut through Goma, reaching Lake Kivu.
In contrast to its neighbor volcano, Nyamuragira,- a typical, and very active shield volcano comparable with Mauna Loa,- the 3470-m-high Nyiragongo displays the steep slopes of a stratovolcano. Terraces inside the steep-walled, 1.2-km-wide summit crater mark levels of former lava lakes, which have been observed since the late-19th century.
Two older volcanoes, Baruta and Shaheru, are partially overlapped by Nyiragongo on the north and south and look like lateral cones. About 100 parasitic cones are located primarily along radial fissures south of Shaheru, east of the summit, and along a NE-SW zone extending as far as Lake Kivu. Many cones are buried by voluminous lava flows that extend long distances down the flanks of the volcano.

Nyiragongo Photos:




Nyiragongo volcano tours
Nyiragongo Lava Lake & Mountain Gorillas (8-days expedition to Nyiragongo volcano & mountain gorillas in Virunga National Park)

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Links and recommended reading:

Publications:

  • Allard P., Baxter P., Halbwachs M., Kasareka M., Komorowski J.C., Joron J.L. (2003), The most destructive effusive eruption in modern history: Nyiragongo 2003, Geophysical Research Abstracts, v. 5, 11970

Older publications:

  • Verhoogen, Jean: Les volcans Virunga et l'éruption du Nyamlagira de 1938 / par J. Verhoogen, S. 326 - 353. (Frankfurt University Library, Germany)
  • Meyer, André: Study of the Volcano Nyiragongo : a progress report / by Thure G. Sahama and André Meyer. - Bruxelles : Hayez, 1958 (Frankfurt University Library)
 

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