Skip to content

Volcano eruption in the Afar region of Ethiopia reported

Posted on

By Dr Ralph Harrington | The Volcanism Blog

Thermal anomalies and dense sulphur dioxide plumes in Ethiopia appear to indicate that a significant effusive eruption has taken place in the Manda Hararo area of the western Afar region. There is as yet no visual confirmation of the eruption from the ground.

There was a VEI=2 eruption at the Manda Hararo volcanic complex in August 2007, and a larger (possibly VEI=3) eruption in the Alu-Dalaffilla region in November 2008. In terms of size, volcanic SO2 expert Prof Simon Carn of Michigan Technical University reports that the current Manda Hararo event seems to lie somewhere between the two.

The MODIS thermal alerts service at the University of Hawaii has shown hotspots of varying intensity over a considerable area of the Manda Hararo region since 27 June, while the OMI Sulfur Dioxide Group has mapped considerable SO2 emissions on 29 and 30 June:

Volcano eruption in the Afar region of Ethiopia reported

Aura/OMI - 06/30/2009 11:04-11:08 UT (NASA/KNMI/NIVR/FMI)

[Thanks to Volcanism Blog reader Gijs de Reijke for information received.]

For other Ethiopian volcanism coverage: Ethiopia « The Volcanism Blog.

5 thoughts on “Volcano eruption in the Afar region of Ethiopia reported

  1. Both pictures show the observed anomalies south and west of the capital Addis, far from the Afar region. There seems to exist lack of accuracy in superimposing the maps.What does the volcanologist Dr Gezahegn of the Earthscience Department of AAU say on this? How come that no visual observation has been reported from Ethiopia as yet?

  2. This is my response to Zobul.

    Afar is one of few places on the planet where the transition from continental to oceanic rifts is visible on the dry land and it is now becoming a gold mine for many earth scientists.

    Ethiopia has witnessed last week the 5th volcanic eruption in the last 4 years. The two anomalies show SO2 emission peaks in the south west and south of the country because of the wind blowing from the northeast direction. the emission is detected from space at different times. The raining season is starting now and we get it from the Red Sea that is why the wind is blowing from that direction. The S02 emission starts in the Manda-Harraro rift in Afar where the two triangles are located. The SO2 can be hazardous if it is excess in volume.

  3. For what it is worth, Ethiopia volcanism was 1 out of 20 regions predicted. “D. With included statistics, warnings for the Pickerell Model (6/28 – 7/4/09) of warning for qualitative volcanic warnings among tectonic energy lines with individual predictions for regions are: 1. New Zealand – Tonga – Fiji -Samoa – Kiribati – Hawaii; 2. Galapagos – El Salvador – Guatemala – Mexico; 3. Italy – Libya – Chad – Democratic Republic of Congo – Ethiopia – Yemen; and 4. Kurils – Kamchatka – Severnaya Zemlya – Iceland” (“GBRWE 6/28 – 7/4/09’s Extreme Planetary Warnings for Earthquakes, Volcanoes, and Solar/Terrestrial Flares from Human Activities”; Robert Rhodes, Supplemental; GBRWE 6/28 – 7/4/09, 6/27/09).

Leave a Reply