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Bulletin of Volcanology

, 76:787 | Cite as

Detailed multidisciplinary monitoring reveals pre- and co-eruptive signals at Nyamulagira volcano (North Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo)

  • Benoît Smets
  • Nicolas d’Oreye
  • François Kervyn
  • Matthieu Kervyn
  • Fabien Albino
  • Santiago R. Arellano
  • Montfort Bagalwa
  • Charles Balagizi
  • Simon A. Carn
  • Thomas H. Darrah
  • José Fernández
  • Bo Galle
  • Pablo J. González
  • Elisabet Head
  • Katcho Karume
  • Deogratias Kavotha
  • François Lukaya
  • Niche Mashagiro
  • Georges Mavonga
  • Patrik Norman
  • Etoy Osodundu
  • José L. G. Pallero
  • Juan F. Prieto
  • Sergey Samsonov
  • Muhindo Syauswa
  • Dario Tedesco
  • Kristy Tiampo
  • Christelle Wauthier
  • Mathieu M. Yalire
Review Article

Abstract

This paper presents a thorough description of Nyamulagira’s January 2010 volcanic eruption (North Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo), based on a combination of field observation and ground-based and space-borne data. It is the first eruption in the Virunga Volcanic Province that has been described by a combination of several modern monitoring techniques. The 2010 eruption lasted 26 days and emitted ∼45.5 × 106 m3 of lava. Field observations divided the event into four eruptive stages delimited by major changes in effusive activity. These stages are consistent with those described by Pouclet (1976) for historical eruptions of Nyamulagira. Co-eruptive signals from ground deformation, seismicity, SO2 emission and thermal flux correlate with the eruptive stages. Unambiguous pre-eruptive ground deformation was observed 3 weeks before the lava outburst, coinciding with a small but clear increase in the short period seismicity and SO2 emission. The 3 weeks of precursors contrasts with the only precursory signal previously recognized in the Virunga Volcanic Province, the short-term increase of tremor and long period seismicity, which, for example, were only detected less than 2 h prior to the 2010 eruption. The present paper is the most detailed picture of a typical flank eruption of this volcano. It provides valuable tools for re-examining former—mostly qualitative—descriptions of historical Nyamulagira eruptions that occurred during the colonial period.

Keywords

Virunga Nyamulagira Nyamuragira East African Rift Volcanic eruption Volcano monitoring Remote sensing 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The monitoring efforts and equipment were deployed in the framework of the following projects: GORISK (funded by the Belgian Science Policy and the National Research Fund of Luxembourg), NOVAC (funded under the EU-FP6 programme), ViSOR (funded by the US National Science Foundation and the US National Geographic Society) and the UN projects in Democratic Republic of Congo ‘Volcano Risk Reduction Unit’ (UNDP project funded by the British and the Swiss Cooperation) and ‘Analysis and Prevention of Natural Hazards’ (UNOPS project funded by the European Union and the Swiss Cooperation). Research by J. Fernández, J.F. Prieto, P.J. González and J.L.G. Pallero has also been supported by research project AYA2010-17448. P.J. González acknowledges the Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship (Canadian Government). It is a contribution for the CEI Campus Moncloa. K. Tiampo is funded by an NSERC Discovery Grant. The final version of this paper was prepared in the framework of the NYALHA (AFR PhD grant no. 3221321, National Research Fund of Luxembourg) and GeoRisCA (funded by the Belgian Science Policy) projects. We are especially grateful to the MONUSCO for its valuable help in monitoring the volcanic activity using daily helicopter flights. Many thanks are also addressed to all members of the GVO staff for their daily monitoring of the Virunga volcanoes during the 2010 eruption. We thank G. Celli for his invaluable contribution in maintaining the GNSS and tilt data transmission. A. Davies and D. Pieri are thanked for their help in the acquisition of EO1-ALI and ASTER images during the 2010 eruption. SAR imagery was provided in the frame of the European Space Agency (ESA) Cat-1 project no. 3224 (ENVISAT-ASAR images), the joint European Japanese Space Agencies (ESA-JAXA) ALOS-ADEN AO project no. 3690 (ALOS-PALSAR images) and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) SOAR-5020 project (RADARSAT-2 images). Finally, the co-authors would like to thank P.J. Wallace and D. Swanson for their very constructive comments, which helped improve the manuscript. The present article is dedicated to D. Kavotha of the Goma Volcano Observatory who passed away during the preparation of the manuscript, in March 2013.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Benoît Smets
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Nicolas d’Oreye
    • 1
    • 4
  • François Kervyn
    • 3
  • Matthieu Kervyn
    • 2
  • Fabien Albino
    • 3
  • Santiago R. Arellano
    • 5
  • Montfort Bagalwa
    • 6
  • Charles Balagizi
    • 6
  • Simon A. Carn
    • 7
  • Thomas H. Darrah
    • 8
    • 9
  • José Fernández
    • 10
  • Bo Galle
    • 5
  • Pablo J. González
    • 11
  • Elisabet Head
    • 7
  • Katcho Karume
    • 6
  • Deogratias Kavotha
    • 6
  • François Lukaya
    • 6
  • Niche Mashagiro
    • 6
  • Georges Mavonga
    • 6
  • Patrik Norman
    • 5
  • Etoy Osodundu
    • 6
  • José L. G. Pallero
    • 12
  • Juan F. Prieto
    • 12
  • Sergey Samsonov
    • 13
  • Muhindo Syauswa
    • 6
  • Dario Tedesco
    • 14
  • Kristy Tiampo
    • 11
  • Christelle Wauthier
    • 15
  • Mathieu M. Yalire
    • 6
  1. 1.European Center for Geodynamics & SeismologyWalferdangeGrand Duchy of Luxembourg
  2. 2.Department of Geography, Earth System ScienceVrije Universiteit BrusselBrusselsBelgium
  3. 3.Department of Earth SciencesRoyal Museum for Central AfricaTervurenBelgium
  4. 4.Department of Geophysics and AstrophysicsNational Museum of Natural HistoryWalferdangeGrand Duchy of Luxembourg
  5. 5.Department of Earth and Space SciencesChalmers University of TechnologyGothenburgSweden
  6. 6.Goma Volcano ObservatoryGomaDemocratic Republic of the Congo
  7. 7.Department of Geological and Mining Engineering and SciencesMichigan Technological UniversityHoughtonUSA
  8. 8.Department of Earth and Environmental SciencesUniversity of RochesterRochesterUSA
  9. 9.Department of Environmental, Earth, and Ocean SciencesUniversity of Massachusetts BostonBostonUSA
  10. 10.Instituto de Geociencias (CSIC-UCM), Ciudad UniversitariaMadridSpain
  11. 11.Department of Earth SciencesUniversity of Western OntarioLondonCanada
  12. 12.ETSI en Topografía, Geodesia y CartografíaUniversidad Politécnica de MadridMadridSpain
  13. 13.Canada Center for Remote SensingNatural Resources CanadaOttawaCanada
  14. 14.Department of Environmental SciencesUniversity of Naples 2CasertaItaly
  15. 15.Department of Terrestrial MagnetismCarnegie Institution for ScienceWashingtonUSA

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