Advertisement

Bulletin of Volcanology

, Volume 72, Issue 8, pp 913–931 | Cite as

Fundamental changes in the activity of the natrocarbonatite volcano Oldoinyo Lengai, Tanzania

II. Eruptive behaviour during the 2007–2008 explosive eruptions
  • Matthieu KervynEmail author
  • Gerald G. J. Ernst
  • Jörg Keller
  • R. Greg Vaughan
  • Jurgis Klaudius
  • Evelyne Pradal
  • Frederic Belton
  • Hannes B. Mattsson
  • Evelyne Mbede
  • Patric Jacobs
Research Article

Abstract

On September 4, 2007, after 25 years of effusive natrocarbonatite eruptions, the eruptive activity of Oldoinyo Lengai (OL), N Tanzania, changed abruptly to episodic explosive eruptions. This transition was preceded by a voluminous lava eruption in March 2006, a year of quiescence, resumption of natrocarbonatite eruptions in June 2007, and a volcano-tectonic earthquake swarm in July 2007. Despite the lack of ground-based monitoring, the evolution in OL eruption dynamics is documented based on the available field observations, ASTER and MODIS satellite images, and almost-daily photos provided by local pilots. Satellite data enabled identification of a phase of voluminous lava effusion in the 2 weeks prior to the onset of explosive eruptions. After the onset, the activity varied from 100 m high ash jets to 2–15 km high violent, steady or unsteady, eruption columns dispersing ash to 100 km distance. The explosive eruptions built up a ∼400 m wide, ∼75 m high intra-crater pyroclastic cone. Time series data for eruption column height show distinct peaks at the end of September 2007 and February 2008, the latter being associated with the first pyroclastic flows to be documented at OL. Chemical analyses of the erupted products, presented in a companion paper (Keller et al. 2010), show that the 2007–2008 explosive eruptions are associated with an undersaturated carbonated silicate melt. This new phase of explosive eruptions provides constraints on the factors causing the transition from natrocarbonatite effusive eruptions to explosive eruptions of carbonated nephelinite magma, observed repetitively in the last 100 years at OL.

Keywords

Oldoinyo Lengai Explosive eruptions Effusive-explosive cycles Ash fallout Pyroclastic flows 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We are especially grateful to Benoît Wihelmi, Tim Leach and Tom Pfeiffer for providing and granting permission to use their spectacular pictures in this paper. We also thank all who contributed with observations, photos or field assistance that enabled following OL activity. This includes Thomas Holden, Michael Dalton-Smith, Jens Fissenebert and his staff, Gwynn Morson, Celia Nyamweru, Chris Weber, Christelle Wauthier and Benoit Smets. We are also grateful to Julie Albaric, Cindy Ebinger, Christelle Wauthier, Benoît Smets, François Kervyn and Nicolas d’Oreye for discussions about the July 2007 seismic swarm. We appreciated comments by two anonymous reviewers which greatly helped to improve the manuscript. We acknowledge fruitful discussions with Barry Dawson and Richard Ferdinand. MK and GGJE are supported by the Belgian NSF (FWO—Vlaanderen). JK and JK are supported by DFG project Ke 136/40.

References

  1. Baer G, Hamiel Y, Shamir G, Nof R (2008) Evolution of a magma-driven earthquake swarm and triggering of the nearby Oldoinyo Lengai eruption, as resolved by InSAR, ground observations and elastic modeling, East African Rift, 2007. Earth Planet Sci Lett 272:339–352. doi: 310.1016/j.epsl.2008.1004.1052 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Behncke B, Neri M (2003) The July–August 2001 eruption of Mt. Etna (Sicily). Bull Volcanol 65:461–476CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bell K (1998) Radiogenic isotope constraints on relationships between carbonatites and associated silicate rocks—A brief review. J Petrol 39:1987–1996CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bell K, Keller J (1995) Carbonatite volcanism: Oldoinyo Lengai and the petrogenesis of natrocarbonatites. IAVCEI Proc Volcanol 4:1–210Google Scholar
  5. Belton F (2008) Oldoinyo Lengai: the mountain of God. http://wwwmtsuedu/∼fbelton/lengaihtml. Cited 20 June 2008
  6. Calais E, d’Oreye N, Albaric J, Deschamps A, Delvaux D, Deverchere J, Ebinger C, Ferdinand RW, Kervyn F, Macheyeki AS, Oyen A, Perrot J, Saria E, Smets B, Stamps DS, Wauthier C (2008) Strain accommodation by slow slip and dyking in a youthful continental rift, East Africa. Nature 456:783–787CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Calvari S, Pinkerton H (2004) Birth, growth and morphologic cinder cone during the evolution of the ‘Laghetto’ 2001 Etna eruption. J Volcanol Geotherm Res 132:225–239CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Carter A, van Wyk de Vries B, Kelfoun K, Bachèlery P, Briole P (2006) Pits, rifts and slumps: the summit structure of Piton de la Fournaise. Bull Volcanol 69:741–756CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Church AA, Jones AP (1995) Silicate-carbonate immiscibility at Oldoinyo-Lengai. J Petrol 36:869–889Google Scholar
  10. Dawson JB (1962) The geology of Oldoinyo Lengai. Bull Volcanol 24:349–387CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Dawson JB (1992) Neogene tectonics and volcanicity in the North Tanzania sector of the Gregory Rift Valley: contrasts with the Kenya sector. Tectonophysics 204:81–92CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Dawson JB (1998) Peralkaline nephelinite-natrocarbonatite relationships at Oldoinyo Lengai, Tanzania. J Petrol 39:2077–2094CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Dawson JB, Bowden P, Clark GC (1968) Activity of the carbonatite volcano Oldoinyo Lengai, 1966. Geol Rundsch 57:865–879CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Dawson JB, Smith JV, Steele IM (1992) 1966 ash eruption of the carbonatite volcano Oldoinyo Lengai: mineralogy of lapilli and mixing of silicate and carbonate magmas. Mineral Mag 56:1–16CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Dawson JB, Keller J, Nyamweru C (1995) Historic and recent eruptive activity of Oldoinyo Lengai. IAVCEI Proc Volcanol 4:4–22Google Scholar
  16. Dawson JB, Pyle DM, Pinkerton H (1996) Evolution of natrocarbonatite from a wollastonite nephelinite parent: evidence from the June 1993 eruption of Oldoinyo Lengai, Tanzania. J Geol 104:41–54CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Dawson JB, Pinkerton H, Norton GE, Pyle DM (1990) Physicochemical properties of alkali carbonatite lavas: data from the 1988 eruption of Oldoinyo Lengai, Tanzania. Geology 18:260–263CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Dawson JB, Pinkerton H, Pyle DM, Nyamweru C (1994) June 1993 eruption of Oldoinyo Lengai, Tanzania: exceptionally viscous and large carbonatite lava flows and evidence for coexisting silicate and carbonate magmas. Geology 22:799–802CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. de Moor J, Fischer TP, King PL, Sharp Z, Shaw AM, Mangasini F (2008) Volatile chemistry of the 2007 to present explosive eruption of Oldoinyo Lengai Volcano, East African Rift. Eos Trans AGU 89(53), Fall Meet Suppl, V54B-08Google Scholar
  20. Fagents SA, Wilson L (1993) Explosive volcanic eruptions -VII. The ranges of pyroclasts ejected in transient volcanic explosions. Geophys J Intl 113:359–370CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Fischer TP, Burnard P, Marty B, Hilton DR, Furi E, Palhol F, Sharp ZD, Mangasini F (2009a) Upper-mantle volatile chemistry at Oldoinyo Lengai volcano and the origin of carbonatites. Nature 459:77–80CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Fischer TP, Burnard P, Marty B, De Moor J, Hilton DR, Shaw AM, Barry PH, Ramirez C, Mangasini F (2009b) Oldoinyo Lengai gas chemistry from 2005 to 2009: Insights to carbonatite-nephelinite volcanism. Eos Trans AGU 90(52), Fall Meet Suppl, V11G-06Google Scholar
  23. Gillespie AR, Rokugawa S, Matsunaga T, Cothern JS, Hook SJ, Kahle AB (1998) A temperature and emissivity separation algorithm for Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) images. IEEE Trans Geosci Rem Sens 36:1113–1126CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Goriatschev AB (1968) Eruption of Oldoinyo Lengai. Priroda: 88–92 (in Russian)Google Scholar
  25. GVN (1999) Oldoinyo Lengai: lava flow spilling over the crater rim in November 1998. Bull Global Volc Network 24 (02)Google Scholar
  26. GVN (2000) Oldoinyo Lengai: continued intermittent eruptive activity, scientist burned by lava. Bull Global Volc Network 25 (12)Google Scholar
  27. GVN (2007) Oldoinyo Lengai: surface lava flows return on 20 June, accident on 21 August, “paroxysm” on 4 September 2007. Bull Global Volc Network 32 (09)Google Scholar
  28. Keller J, Krafft M (1990) Effusive natrocarbonatite activity of Oldoinyo Lengai, June 1988. Bull Volcanol 52:629–645CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Keller J, Klaudius J (2003) Volcanic hazard assessment at Oldoinyo Lengai, Tanzania. In: Abstracts of the XXIII IUGG General Assembly. Sapporo, 6–8 March 2003Google Scholar
  30. Keller J, Klaudius J, Kervyn M, Ernst GGJ, Mattsson HB (2010) Fundamental changes in the activity of the natrocarbonatite volcano Oldoinyo Lengai, Tanzania. I. New magma composition. Bull Volcanol. doi: 10.1007/s00445-010-0371-x Google Scholar
  31. Kervyn M, Jacobs P, Ernst GGJ (2006) Scaled experiments on volcanic cone-and-crater assembly, geometry and growth. Geophys Res Abstr 8:03873Google Scholar
  32. Kervyn M, Ernst GGJ, Harris AJL, Belton F, Mbede E, Jacobs P (2008a) Thermal remote sensing of the low-intensity thermal anomalies of Oldoinyo Lengai, Tanzania. Int J Rem Sens 29:6467–6499CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Kervyn M, Ernst GGJ, Klaudius J, Keller J, Mbede E, Jacobs P (2008b) Remote sensing evidence for sector collapses and debris avalanches at Oldoinyo Lengai and Kerimasi volcanoes, Tanzania. Int J Rem Sens 29:6565–6595CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Kervyn M, Ernst GGJ, Klaudius J, Keller J, Kervyn F, Mattsson HB, Betlon F, Mbede E, Jacobs P (2008c) Voluminous lava flows at Oldoinyo Lengai in 2006: chronology of events and insights into the shallow magmatic system of a natrocarbonatite volcano. Bull Volcanol 70:1069–1086CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Klaudius J, Keller J (2004) Quaternary debris avalanche deposits at Oldoinyo Lengai (Tanzania). In: Abstract of the IAVCEI General Assembly. Pucon, 14–19 Nov 2004Google Scholar
  36. Klaudius J, Keller J (2006) Peralkaline silicate lavas at Oldoinyo Lengai, Tanzania. Lithos 91:173–190CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Koepenick KW, Brantley SL, Thompson JM, Rowe GL, Nyblade AA, Moshy C (1996) Volatile emissions from the crater and flank of Oldoinyo Lengai volcano, Tanzania. J Geophys Res 101:13819–13830CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Linde AT, Sacks IS (1998) Triggering of volcanic eruptions. Nature 395:888–890CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Mattsson HB, Reusser E (2010) Mineralogical and geochemical characterization of ashes from an early phase of the explosive September 2007 eruption of Oldoinyo Lengai (Tanzania). J Afr Earth SciGoogle Scholar
  40. Mitchell RH (1997) Carbonate-carbonate immiscibility, neighborite and potassium iron sulphide in Oldoinyo Lengai natrocarbonatite. Mineral Mag 61:779–789CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Mitchell RH, Dawson JB (2007) The September 24th, 2007 ash eruption of the carbonatite volcano, Oldoinyo Lengai, Tanzania: mineralogy of the ash and implications for formation of new hybrid magma type. Mineral Mag 71:483–492CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Nyamweru C (1988) Activity of Ol-Doinyo-Lengai Volcano, Tanzania, 1983–1987. J Afr Earth Sci 7:603–610CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Oppenheimer C, Burton M, Durieux J, Pyle DM (2002) Open-path Fourier transform spectroscopy of gas emissions from Oldoinyo Lengai volcano, Tanzania. Opt Laser Eng 37:203–214CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Peterson TD (1990) Petrology and genesis of natrocarbonatite. Contrib Mineral Petrol 105:143–155CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Petibon CM, Kjarsgaard BA, Jenner GA, Jackson SE (1998) Phase relationships of a silicate-bearing natrocarbonatite from Oldoinyo Lengai at 20 and 100 MPa. J Petrol 39:2137–2151CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Richard JJ (1942) Volcanological observations in East Africa. I Oldoinyo Lengai. The 1940-1 eruption. J East Afr Uganda Nat Hist Soc 16:89–108Google Scholar
  47. Riedel C, Ernst GGJ, Riley M (2003) Controls on the growth and geometry of pyroclastic constructs. J Volcanol Geotherm Res 127:121–152CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Roche O, van Wyk de Vries B, Druitt TH (2001) Sub-surface structures and collapse mechanisms of summit pit craters. J Volcanol Geotherm Res 105:1–18CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Rymer H, van Wyk de Vries B, Merle O, Stix J, Williams-Jones G (1998) Pit crater structure and processes governing persistent activity at Masaya Volcano, Nicaragua. Bull Volcanol 59:345–355CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. USGS Earthquake Hazards Program Website (2008) US Geological Survey Earthquake Hazards Program. http://neicusgsgov/. Cited 20 June 2008
  51. Van Manen S, Kervyn M, Blake S, Ernst GGJ (2010) Apparent tidal influence on thermal activity at Oldoinyo Lengai volcano, Tanzania, as observed in Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) data. J Volcanol Geotherm Res 189:151–157CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Vaughan RG, Kervyn M, Realmuto V, Abrams M, Hook SJ (2008) Satellite measurements of recent volcanic activity at Oldoinyo Lengai, Tanzania. J Volcanol Geotherm Res 173:196–206CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Williams RW, Gill JB, Bruland KW (1986) Ra-Th disequilibria systematics: timescale of carbonatite magma formation at Oldoinyo Lengai volcano, Tanzania. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 50:1249–1259CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Wilson L (1972) Explosive volcanic eruptions -II The atmospheric trajectories of pyroclasts. Geophys J Roy Astr Soc 30:381–392Google Scholar
  55. Wood CA (1980) Morphometric evolution of cinder cones. J Volcanol Geotherm Res 7:387–413CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Woods AW (1998) Observations and models of volcanic eruption columns. In: Gilbert JS, Sparks RSJ (eds) The physics of explosive volcanic eruptions. Geol Soc London Spec Pub 145:91–114Google Scholar
  57. Woods AW, Bower SM (1995) The decompression of volcanic jets in a crater during explosive volcanic eruptions. Earth Planet Sci Lett 131:189–205CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Zaitsev AN, Keller J (2006) Mineralogical and chemical transformation of Oldoinyo Lengai natrocarbonatites, Tanzania. Lithos 91:191–207CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matthieu Kervyn
    • 1
    Email author
  • Gerald G. J. Ernst
    • 1
  • Jörg Keller
    • 2
  • R. Greg Vaughan
    • 3
  • Jurgis Klaudius
    • 4
    • 9
  • Evelyne Pradal
    • 5
  • Frederic Belton
    • 6
  • Hannes B. Mattsson
    • 7
  • Evelyne Mbede
    • 8
  • Patric Jacobs
    • 1
  1. 1.Mercator & Ortelius Research Centre for Eruption Dynamics, Department of Geology and Soil ScienceGhent UniversityGhentBelgium
  2. 2.Institut für Geowissenscahften, Mineralogie–GeochemieUniversität FreiburgFreiburgGermany
  3. 3.Planetary Science InstituteTucsonUSA
  4. 4.Geowissenschaftliches Institut, Mineralogie-GeochemieUniversität FreiburgFreiburgGermany
  5. 5.SCITERREJuvignacFrance
  6. 6.Developmental Studies DepartmentMiddle Tennessee State UniversityMurfreesboroUSA
  7. 7.Institute of Geochemistry and PetrologySwiss Federal Institute of TechnologyZurichSwitzerland
  8. 8.Department of GeologyUniversity of Dar es SalaamDar es SalaamTanzania
  9. 9.Terratec Geophysical ServicesHeitersheimGermany

Personalised recommendations