We haven't talked too much about volcanic activity in Africa lately, but that doesn't mean nothing is happening. I had a couple galleries of images come through my inbox in the last couple weeks that show some of the dynamic activity at two of the most active volcanic areas in Africa: Nyiragongo in the Republic of the Congo and Dallol in Ethiopia. Both volcanoes are part of the East African Rift. Nyiragongo has seen much activity over the last few decades including lava flows that have reached the city of Goma and its crater has an active lava lake while Dallol has been relatively quiet since its last known eruption in 1926, but has persistent fumarolic and hot spring activity.
Photovolcanica has posted a series of new images from Dallol that capture the current activity at the hot spring in late January 2011. This set includes pictures from 2002, 2008 and now 2011, showing the changes in the activity at the hot springs and geysers at Dallol (see below and top left). The crew noted that currently there is high activity at the Dallol hydrothermal area, likely due to increased rainfall bringing more water to the system, but many of the hot springs were larger than in previous years. There are some quite impressive hydrothermal features at Dallol, including large deposits of silica, sulfur, iron and other dissolved elements from the hot springs.
Hot springs at Dallol in Ethopia seen in late January 2011. Image from Photovolcanica.
On the other side of the continent, VolcanoDiscovery has a large collection of new images from the the summit region at Nyiragongo in the Congo seen in mid-January 2011. The lava lake looks healthy as ever (see below), with a pronounced crust at times but plenty of fountaining and spattering from vents in the main crater. All in all, it seems that even out of the news, there is plenty of volcanic activity at Nyiragongo.
The lava lake in the summit crater at Nyiragongo as seen on January 11, 2011. Image from VolcanoDiscovery.
Top left: A hydrothermal deposit at Dallol in Ethiopia, seen in late January 2011. Image from Photovolcanica.