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Ol Doinyo Lengai volcano (Tanzania) - Smithsonian / USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report for 25 July-31 July 2007 (New Activity / Unrest)

Wed, 25 Jul 2007, 06:00
06:00 AM | BY: VN
Ol Doinyo Lengai is frequently the scene of fluid but very small volume lava flows in its summit crater, including a few that passed over the crater rim and begun the long descent down the mountain. As noted here last week, news reports had indicated that products of the volcano's 19-July eruption had entered inhabited areas. Subsequent investigations have cast doubt on those earlier claims.

Discussions this week by volcanologist Gerald Ernst with contacts in the region revealed that neither aviators, guides, scientists, nor locals had seen dramatic eruptive events at the mountain. The summit crater was intact, but eruptions were confined to the summit area. What was interpreted from a distance as a modest landslide in the crater may have sent out a dust cloud.
That cloud could have been confused with ash from a large flank eruption.

To help shed light on the situation, Greg Vaughan of the Jet Propulsion Labs had a preliminary look at some ASTER satellite data of the volcano and concluded that in mid-June through late July the summit crater was likely to have continued to emit lava. The 20 July thermal emissions appeared no larger than those on 18 June. Those from 15 April appeared weaker.
The images supported summit lava eruptions but failed to document any lava that had spilled over the crater rim.

Sources: Gerald Ernst, Centre for Environmental & Geophysical Flows, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Bristol, Greg Vaughan, Jet Propulsion Laboratory
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From: Global Volcanism Program, 2007. Report on Ol Doinyo Lengai. In: Mayberry, G (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report 25 July-31 July 2007. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Previous news

Mon, 23 Jul 2007, 01:46

Ol Doinyo Lengai volcano (Tanzania), eruption news: false report on eruption

As more news has become available, the news about an effusive flank eruption at Lengai around 15 July turns out to be probably false. The observed "ashcloud" was dust from a landslide. This demonstrates how difficult it is in this area to have robust information. The ongoing seismic activity in the Gregory Rift, however, is quite peculiar. Read all
Wed, 18 Jul 2007, 06:00

Ol Doinyo Lengai volcano (Tanzania) - Smithsonian / USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report for 18 July-24 July 2007 (New Activity / Unrest)

According to news reports, an eruption began at Ol Doinyo Lengai around 19 July, forcing villagers living near the volcano to evacuate. An article stated that, "...more than 1,500 people, most of them Maasai families, vacated their homes in Ngaresero, Orbalal and Nayobi villages following the tremors that triggered the volcanic eruption." "Villagers are reported to have heard roaring...before the volcano started discharging ash and lava." There were reports of a damaged school and two injuries, but no reports of deaths. ... Read all
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Satellite image of Ol Doinyo Lengai volcano by (c) Google Earth View
Satellite image of Ol Doinyo Lengai volcano by (c) Google Earth View
Stratovolcano 2890 m
Tanzania, -2.75°S / 35.9°E
Current status: minor activity or eruption warning (3 out of 5) Ol Doinyo Lengai volcano eruptions:
1550 BC (?), 50 AD (?), 700 AD (?), 1350 (?), 1880, 1882, 1904, 1907, 1914, 1916, 1921, 1926, 1940, 1954, 1955, 1958, 1960, 1967, 1983, 1994, 2006, 2007-ongoing
Typical eruption style
Explosive activity. In addition, at least during the past +-30 years near-continuous effusion and mildly explosive eruption of natrocarbonatite lava from vents inside the crater, sometimes overflowing over the rim, is taking place.

Ol Doinyo Lengai volcano tours

Crater Highlands & Rift Valley (Tanzania)
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10-day trekking and wildlife safari to the Ngorongoro Highlands and the Rift Valley, Tanzania
10 days / 9 nights - Moderate
Price $ 4100
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