Eruption illuminates sky over Goma city (image: @CharlesBalagizi/twitter)
Eruption illuminates sky over Goma city (image: @imfuraluc01/twitter)
The flank effusive eruption of the volcano continues at high levels and illuminates the sky over the capital city of Goma. The new eruptive fissure vent on the eastern flank, as reported by observers in social media, is feeding fast-flowing lava flows - thanks to the volcano's extraordinarily fluid lavas at extremely low viscosity - that continue to advance towards Busambali, Byungo, Mudja province including Goma capital city and are expected to threaten inhabited areas. The extremely fluid 1977 lava flows caused many fatalities, as did lava flows that inundated portions of the major city of Goma in January 2002.
Fast-flowing lava flows have started to descend on the eastern slopes of the volcano (source: @paulakahumbu/twitter)
Nyiragongo volcano (DR Congo): new flank eruption with large lava flows
Sat, 22 May 2021, 21:46
21:46 PM | BY: T
Lava flow on Nyiragongo volcano (image: FOBOS PLANET video)
A new flank eruption started at the volcano this afternoon. It seems that a fissure opened on the eastern(?) flank, and drained the lava lake inside the volcano. Large lava flows can be seen on published imagery, but it seems that so far, the city of Goma, partially destroyed in 2002 during the last flank eruption of the volcano, is not threatened (yet). The lava of Nyiragongo volcano is particularly fluid and therefore its lateral eruptions that produce fast-flowing lava flows are more dangerous than from most other volcanoes.
Nyiragongo volcano (DRCongo): lava lake level drops
Wed, 7 Aug 2019, 12:05
12:05 PM | BY: T
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.
Image of Nyiragongo's crater on 8 April (image: Jérémie Franchitti / youtube)
The secondary vent remains active, a recent visit (on 8 April) at the volcano showed. Lava continues to be erupted from the side vent on the eastern crater floor and occasionally still cascades into the main pit with the active lava lake:
Activity from secondary vent ceases (?)
Update Sun 03 Apr 08:06
A recent visit to the volcano showed no more (or at least no more significant) activity from the side vent on the lower terrace. The recent lava flows that had surrounded the lips of the inner crater and partially spilled into the central lava lake were seen cooling.
Source:Clint Johnston (Instagram)
View of the crater of Nyiragongo on around 1 April 2016 (image: Clint Johnston / instagram)
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Lava falls into central lava lake
Update Sat 26 Mar 17:06
The mainly effusive activity from the new secondary vent inside the volcano's caldera continues with little changes. By now, new lava flows have surrounded the central pit (containing the main lava lake), covered most of the lower platform and cascade into the central vent at multiple locations.
Image credit: Jason Sehorn (Instagram)
Lava cascading into the central lava lake of Nyiragongo volcano (image: Jason Sehorn)
new intracrater activity continues, no signs of lateral magma movements
Update Mon 21 Mar 17:49
Aerial image with location of reflectors and fix points for distance measurements on Nyiragongo. 17mm of extension occurred during February between T1 (south) and P2 (west)
Goma Volcano Observatory published the results of recent field work on the crater of Nyiragongo during 10-11 March in a new report: in summary, it seems that the current intense activity from the two vents inside the inner crater is confined to this area, and no magma has migrated laterally.
In other words, the risk of a flank eruption in the near future should be relatively low for the time being. The report expressively mentions that inhabitants of the surrounding villages should not be worried too much about the new activity inside the crater, at least unless something changes significantly.
High-precision distance measurements, as far available, show no significant deformation of the volcano's edifice occurred after the opening of the new vent in late February; only a modest extension of 17 mm in NW-SE direction was measured between two fix points on the crater rim between 7 Feb and 2 March, but none since. In addition, no increase in temperature inside the many fissures on the crater and the volcano's flanks has been noted.
As to the activity at the new vent itself: when OVG's volcanologists observed it on 10-11 March, it consisted in pulsating lava fountains / strombolian bursts of a few tens of meter height, and the effusion of abundant lava flows that started circumvent the central pit's rims, which are slightly elevated on the lower platform (caused by repeated overflows in the past few years).
On 11 March, the first lava from the second vent started to enter and cascade into the central lava lake for the first time.
Although no recent images are available from the past days, it is likely that this activity continues with little changes; satellite imagery continue shows a broader zone of heat radiation from the crater.
Lava flows from second vent inside crater reach lava lake
Update Tue 15 Mar 17:40
Nyiragongo's intra-crater lava flows last week, cascading into the main lava lake (image: João Cunha Monteiro /facebook)
The new vent inside the crater of Nyiragongo remains very active, producing pulsating lava fountains of approx. 30 m height at intervals of 30 seconds, according to the observatory. Well-alimented lava flows leave from the vent.
A recent photo (from a visit last week by João Cunha Monteiro) shows that these have now reached the rims of the central lake and started to cascade into it. A great show!
Elevated activity continues at volcano
Update Mon 14 Mar 16:49
A cook who spent the night of 10 March on the rim of the crater reported that the volcano was unusually "noisy".
While we have no other specific information, it suggests that the very high level of activity, both from the main lava lake and at the new vent NE of it, first observed on 1 March, continues.
Nyiragongo volcano (DR Congo): fracture opens new vent inside crater - precursor of possible flank eruption?
Tue, 8 Mar 2016, 13:20
13:20 PM | BY: T
View of the crater of Nyiragongo on 1 or 2 March with the lava lake and the new vent at the NE margin of the crater floor (image: OVG)
The new vent on the NE end of the crater floor on 1 or 2 March (OVG)
Some very unusual and alarming events have been taking place at the volcano recently: A new eruptive vent opened at the northeastern end of the lowest crater terrace, outside the active lava lake (which had been in place since 2002) and just beneath the near vertical crater walls.. According to a preliminary report of the Goma Volcano Observatory (GVO) who visited the volcano during 1-2 March, the new vent is now forming a second lava lake. Images from a visit of GVO staff show a spatter cone erupting fresh lava flows that pooled onto the crater floor. GVO reported that since the end of February, activity at the volcano has been more intense than usual. In particular, starting from 04 am on 29 February, local inhabitants began to hear frequent rumblings coming from the volcano almost every minute. Likely, these were caused by the opening of the new dike (fracture occupied as pathway for the new magma) and associated rockfalls inside the crater (the vent is directly located near almost vertical walls). It is important to note as GVO's report mentions, that the location of the new vent is on the east-trending fracture zone that connects the summit vent of Nyiragongo with the prominent flank cone Baruta to the northeast of the main edifice, near the village of Kibumba. This rift zone (along with the southern rift zone extending towards Goma town) is one of the most prone locations of the volcano's dangerous flank eruptions. When these occur, the volcano's edifice is ruptured laterally, allowing magma to drain outside. Such eruptions have been occurring at intervals of few decades typically. They usually drain very large volumes of very fluid, and hence, unusually fast flowing lava from the lake in short time. The results of the past two such eruptions in 1977 and 2002 were catastrophic: they killed more than 1000 people, destroyed dozends of villages and a large part of Goma town (in 2002).
Whether or not the current developments are precursor of a new eruption from Nyiragongo's flanks is difficult to say, but the appearance of the new vent tells that an extensional movement has taken place on this fracture zone, something that is certainly alarming.
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