Virunga volcanoes

The Virunga Volcanic Province owns to the western branch of the East African Rift System and is located at the political borders of the D.R. Congo, Rwanda and Uganda. Its western part corresponds to the rift valley and is composed by Nyiragongo and Nyamulagira volcanoes, i.e. the two currently active volcanoes of the volcanic chain.

Panoramic view from the 2011-2012 eruptive site of Nyamulagira. From left to right: Mikeno, Nyiragongo and Nyamulagira volcanoes. Photo (c) B. Smets, 2012.

Panoramic view from the 2011-2012 eruptive site of Nyamulagira. From left to right: Mikeno, Nyiragongo and Nyamulagira volcanoes.
Photo (c) B. Smets, 2012.

Both Nyiragongo and Nyamulagira are characterized by the presence of a permanent lava lake in their summit crater. The current lava lake of Nyiragongo is the world’s largest and is permanently active since May 2002. The lava lake of Nyamulagira is much smaller and is located in a pit crater of the NE part of the central caldera. This lava lake is active since 1st November 2014 and appeared after the emergence lava fountains in April 2014 and from June to September 2014.

Additional information will be soon available through a website dedicated to the Virunga volcanoes (in preparation). In the meantime, here are some basic information about Nyiragongo, Nyamulagira and documentation available online:

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