Volcano Nyiragongo in Congo
Mount Nyiragongo is located in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The stratovolcano is part of the chain of eight volcanoes in the Great Rift Valley, which is known as the Virunga volcano chain.
Atypical of stratovolcanoes such as Mount Nyiragongo is its activity. Its eruption style of choice is Hawaiian eruptions and the generation of lava lakes and lava flows of particularly low viscosity basaltic lava.
On the surface of the lake solidified basalt plates form. These plates float on the lake surface and are punctuated by cracks of red-hot lava. The basalt plates isolate the lava lake so that molten lava remains liquefied below the surface for a long time. The feed rate of fresh material is as with most lava lakes relatively low, however the heat flow from the Earth's interior is higher than in most other volcanoes.
There had already been a lava lake here between 1923 and 1977. In January 1977 a flank eruption occurred and the lava lake flowed through a large fissure vent. It created massive lava flows with initial speeds of 100 kilometers per hour killing more than 2000 people.
In January 2002, Mount Nyiragongo erupted once again, sending a stream of lava down the slopes, destroying several villages and cutting a swath through the city of Goma before it flowing into Lake Kivu. 147 people were killed and 170,000 people were left permanently homeless after this volcanic disaster.
Since June 2002, a new lava lake boils in the crater of Mount Nyiragongo.
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