Eruption at Nabro Volcano, Eritrea

Nabro is one of the basaltic rift volcanoes that lie along the East African Rift, where Africa is being opened like a zipper (the Red Sea is also part of this splitting of continents). There is no known historical eruptions of Nabro, but it appears that the volcano has had Holocene (<11,700 years ago) eruptions. One interesting note is speculation of how any extending periods of ash might effect the hurricane season as the ash is blown westward over Africa  to the Atlantic. Check out all the details over on the Volcanism Blog and the Volcano Blog. (BigThink)


 

Nabro, a stratovolcano in the northeast African nation of Eritrea, rumbled to life late in the evening on June 12, 2011, following a series of earthquakes. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Aqua satellite captured this natural-color image the next day.

Initial reports from news agencies and the Volcanic Ash Advisory Center in Toulouse, France, proclaimed the eruption to be occurring at Dubbi, a volcano further south. But later reports from volcanologists, field scientists, and the satellite image above appear to confirm the eruption at Nabro. There are no historical reports of eruptions at Nabro before today.

The volcano is part of a larger complex with several nested calderas nearby. It is part of the East African Rift, where the African continent is slowly pulling apart due to tectonic plate movements. (EO)
The ensuing dust is covering hundreds of kilometers in the area, and that the quake has been heard in the greater portion of the region as a whole, according to reports.

The Southern regional Administration disclosed that the Government has moved the inhabitants in the area to a safe place, in addition to providing them with the necessary care. No damage has so far been inflicted to human life , the Administration added. Although similar earthquake incidents were witnessed from time to time in previous years, yesterday’s tremor was of higher scale that led to volcanic eruption. (Shabait)

The 2218-m-high Nabro stratovolcano is the highest volcano in the Danakil depression of northern Ethiopia and Eritrea. Located at the SE end of the Danakil Alps, Nabro lies in the Danakil horst. Nabro is the most prominent and NE-most of three volcanoes with large summit calderas aligned in a NE-SW direction SW of Dubbi volcano. These three volcanoes, along with Sork Ale volcano, collectively comprise the Bidu volcanic complex. The complex Nabro stratovolcano is truncated by nested calderas, 8 and 5 km in diameter. The larger caldera is widely breached to the SW. Nabro was constructed primarily of trachytic lava flows and pyroclastics. Post-caldera rhyolitic obsidian domes and basaltic lava flows were erupted inside the caldera and on its flanks. Some very recent lava flows were erupted from NNW-trending fissures transverse to the trend of the Nabro volcanic range. (GlobalVolcanismProgram)

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