Nyamuragira starts off 2010 with an eruption

By Erik Klemetti | January 2, 2010 7:29 am

It didn’t take long in the new year to get started!

Nymuragira erupting in January 2010.

Nyamuragira in the Congo erupted to start off the new year, producing explosions and lava flows. The flow are moving down the southern flank of the volcano. The eruption started with loud, concussive noises at 3:45 AM that startled rangers at the National Park that surround the volcanoes Nyamuragira and Nyiragongo. It appears that there was some part of the eruption that was either fire fountains or strombolian as the rangers describe the early events as “fire with sparks flying”. The lava flows from this eruption could threaten populations of endangered chimpanzees and great apes that live on the slopes of the volcano in Virunga National Park. However, unlike eruptions of Nyiragongo that reached the city of Goma, this eruption (so far) is into fairly unpopulated areas.

Nyamuragira is a relatively active volcano, producing lava lakes and flows – some of which reached as far as 30 km. The last eruption of Nyamuragira was in 2006, a VEI 2 event that produced lava flows on the south flank, similar to what is occurring now. That eruption lasted about a week, but other eruptions since the turn of the century lasted upwards of months.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Eruptions, Science, Science Blogs

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