Ol Doinyo Lengai volcano (Tanzania) - ash eruptions (18 January 2008)

During 17-19 January, we managed to stay on top of Lengai with a small group. During much of the time, the summit was in clouds, but on 18 January, the afternoon proved to be clear and Lengai started a phase of ash eruptions lasting from around 4pm to 8pm. A detailed report about the expedition and Lengai's acitivity in the time between 17 and 21 January can be found here.
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The steep stratovolcano of Lengai volcano seen from the plain of the Rift Valley. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
The steep stratovolcano of Lengai volcano seen from the plain of the Rift Valley. (Photo: Tom Pfeiff... [info]
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Philip and our Maassai guide Peter examining one of the many fresh impacts on the southern slope of the crest between the north and south crater. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Philip and our Maassai guide Peter examining one of the many fresh impacts on the southern slope of ... [info]
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The new ash cone is occupying all of the north crater. None of the former hornitos is there any more. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
The new ash cone is occupying all of the north crater. None of the former hornitos is there any more... [info]
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Zoom onto the crater walls. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Zoom onto the crater walls. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Ash falls from eruptions during the past weeks have been concentrated in a sector west of the volcano according to prevailing easterly winds. Much of the vegetation on the Rift Valley walls and beyond has died. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Ash falls from eruptions during the past weeks have been concentrated in a sector west of the volcan... [info]
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The crater of the new ash cone on Lengai volcano. Most of the time, a very fine, dilute stream of smoke (very fine ash, probably) is issuing from its crater. Note the 3 persons on the rim in the background: (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
The crater of the new ash cone on Lengai volcano. Most of the time, a very fine, dilute stream of sm... [info]
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A small group of climbers, perhaps unaware of their dangerous position, have climbed via the old northern route. Note: this route is now extremely dangerous and virtually impassible for descend. In fact, the people on the photo had to descend on the southern route. Minutes after they had passed the crater, explosions started and threw rocks over the path they took.  (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
A small group of climbers, perhaps unaware of their dangerous position, have climbed via the old nor... [info]
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The group from before is trying to descend back along the old route, but will have to give up: the section beyond the rocks visible in the background is now a steep, smooth slope of hardened ash with no grip. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
The group from before is trying to descend back along the old route, but will have to give up: the s... [info]
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The group is crossing the crater,- they are just tiny spots in the picture.  (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
The group is crossing the crater,- they are just tiny spots in the picture. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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The south crater, now a desolate expanse of ash with all vegetation killed... Our tent is on its rim in the background, near where the new climbing/descending route starts, and as far as possible from the active crater... (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
The south crater, now a desolate expanse of ash with all vegetation killed... Our tent is on its rim... [info]
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Shortly after the small group has crossed the crater floor, bluish gas exits the crater and a minute later, the first weak ash clouds.  (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Shortly after the small group has crossed the crater floor, bluish gas exits the crater and a minute... [info]
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Pulsating fingers of ash and blocks erupting silently from the crater. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Pulsating fingers of ash and blocks erupting silently from the crater. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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An hour after the first explosions, the activity increases. Blocks and the finger-like initial ash jets are thrown to 300 m height above the crater.   (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
An hour after the first explosions, the activity increases. Blocks and the finger-like initial ash j... [info]
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Feb 2007, one year earlier, the same view onto the north crater from the summit. The crater famous for its surreal landscape with hornitos and small lava flows was filled to the rim with natrocarbonatite products. The summit and the south crater were lush and green. Lake Natron and the Rift Valley can be seen in the background. 
More images from 2007 can be found here. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Feb 2007, one year earlier, the same view onto the north crater from the summit. The crater famous f... [info]
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Wind is bending the erupted ash plumes. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Wind is bending the erupted ash plumes. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Peter and Philip watching the activity. The ash cloud is drifting to the west, making it rain more ash there... (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Peter and Philip watching the activity. The ash cloud is drifting to the west, making it rain more a... [info]
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The eruptions are at their peak now and luckily, the ash plume is drifting to the side of us. Otherwise, it would be highly unpleasant here...  (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
The eruptions are at their peak now and luckily, the ash plume is drifting to the side of us. Otherw... [info]
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Philip, fully concentrated, taking photos. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Philip, fully concentrated, taking photos. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Even our guide Peter seems to be impressed and is following the activity closely. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Even our guide Peter seems to be impressed and is following the activity closely. (Photo: Tom Pfeiff... [info]
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Billowing ash clouds. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Billowing ash clouds. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Light and shadow in the ash cloud. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Light and shadow in the ash cloud. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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CLose-up of the ash fingers: blocks, often made of ash themselves and disintegrating during flight, create dense black trails of ash. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
CLose-up of the ash fingers: blocks, often made of ash themselves and disintegrating during flight, ... [info]
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After the initial kinetic energy is consumed, the ash is taken by wind turbulence, creating curling veils of black. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
After the initial kinetic energy is consumed, the ash is taken by wind turbulence, creating curling ... [info]
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Eruptions jetting into the ash clouds already obscuring the crater.  (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Eruptions jetting into the ash clouds already obscuring the crater. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Dance of ash curls and hundreds of  small blocks thrown into the air... (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Dance of ash curls and hundreds of small blocks thrown into the air... (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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The ash eruptions become almost continuous. By the time a new jet erupts, the ash and falling blocks from the previous eruption are still there. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
The ash eruptions become almost continuous. By the time a new jet erupts, the ash and falling blocks... [info]
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Lake Natron in the background as well as numerous (wet) clouds in the distance. We were lucky to have a window of few hours between fog and rains,- quite typical on the summit of Lengai. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Lake Natron in the background as well as numerous (wet) clouds in the distance. We were lucky to hav... [info]
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Ash is raining out of the dark ash cloud. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Ash is raining out of the dark ash cloud. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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200 m high ash cloud. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
200 m high ash cloud. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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300+ m high ash cloud... (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
300+ m high ash cloud... (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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lengai_e35154.jpg (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
lengai_e35154.jpg (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Erupting jets of ash drawing thick fingers of ash. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Erupting jets of ash drawing thick fingers of ash. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Crop from the previous image showing details of the ash jets, mostly created by disintegrating ash blocks. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Crop from the previous image showing details of the ash jets, mostly created by disintegrating ash b... [info]
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Ash eruptions at their peak during 18 Jan 2008. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Ash eruptions at their peak during 18 Jan 2008. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Weakly smoking Lengai volcano seen from the plain of the Rift Valley near Lake Natron. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Weakly smoking Lengai volcano seen from the plain of the Rift Valley near Lake Natron. (Photo: Tom P... [info]
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Lengai and the typical cloud around its summit seen in moonlight. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Lengai and the typical cloud around its summit seen in moonlight. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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The western ridge leading from the summit to the north crater. The escarpment of the Rift Valley in the backgound. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
The western ridge leading from the summit to the north crater. The escarpment of the Rift Valley in ... [info]
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Ash deposits and erosions channels on the plaine and Rift Valley escarpment to the west of Lengai. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Ash deposits and erosions channels on the plaine and Rift Valley escarpment to the west of Lengai. (... [info]
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Erosion gullies in the ash-covered plain west of Lengai volcano. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Erosion gullies in the ash-covered plain west of Lengai volcano. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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The rim of the ash cone in Lengai's crater. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
The rim of the ash cone in Lengai's crater. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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View onto Lake Natron seen from the summit of Lengai. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
View onto Lake Natron seen from the summit of Lengai. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Maassai guide Peter observing the eruptions at Lengai volcano. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Maassai guide Peter observing the eruptions at Lengai volcano. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Two ash plumes from powerful ash eruptions one shortly after the other. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Two ash plumes from powerful ash eruptions one shortly after the other. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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The ash-covered steep slope of Lengai with its deep erosion gullies. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
The ash-covered steep slope of Lengai with its deep erosion gullies. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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As we leave Lengai on 21 January and drive past Kerimasi volcano, a last view on now distant Lengai volcano shows no activity there... (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
As we leave Lengai on 21 January and drive past Kerimasi volcano, a last view on now distant Lengai ... [info]
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The plain on the NE of Lengai with Gelai volcano and its many flank cones seen from the path up to Lengai volcano. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
The plain on the NE of Lengai with Gelai volcano and its many flank cones seen from the path up to L... [info]
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On the first (easy) part of the new climb to Lengai. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
On the first (easy) part of the new climb to Lengai. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Philip and Peter on the summit of Lengai and ash from an eruption. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Philip and Peter on the summit of Lengai and ash from an eruption. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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