Nyiragongo (DR Congo)

Status Unknown Eruption 2019 3470m
Stratovolcano (Rift zone / Continental crust (> 25 km))

Nyiragongo

One of Africa's most notable volcanoes, Nyiragongo contained a lava lake in its deep summit crater that was active for half a century before draining catastrophically through its outer flanks in 1977. The steep slopes of a stratovolcano contrast to the low profile of its neighboring shield volcano, Nyamuragira. Benches in 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 stratovolcanoes, Baruta and Shaheru, are partially overlapped by Nyiragongo on the north and south. 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, which is characterized by the eruption of foiditic rocks. 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.

One of Africa's most notable volcanoes, Nyiragongo is seen here from the south across Lake Kivu at Peyer Yard in Rwanda. Nyiragongo contained a lava lake in its deep summit crater that was active for half a century before draining suddenly in 1977. In contrast to the low profile of its neighboring shield volcano, Nyamuragira, 3470-m-high Nyiragongo displays the steep slopes of a stratovolcano. About 100 parasitic cones are located primarily along radial fissures east of the summit and along a NE-SW zone extending as far as Lake Kivu.

Photo by B. Martinelli, 1994 (courtesy of Jack Lockwood, U.S. Geological Survey).

Last updated 2019-10-19 01:00:03

Camera (auto update every 1 minute)
Latest activity