Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Dalaffilla Volcano Eruption, Ethiopia - John Seach

Satellite images show that the eruption of Dalaffilla volcano in Ethiopia on 3rd November 2008 (UT) began from fissures on the NE side of the summit. There was a smaller amount erupted from fissures on NW side of the volcano. The main volume of lava emitted was at least 3 km from Alu volcano, and right at the summit of Dalaffilla. Alu and Dalaffilla are twin volcanoes, and therefore connected to the same magma chamber. Instinct indicated that it should have been Alu producing a large basaltic lava flow, but evidence shows that Dalaffilla erupted. It is amazing that in the era of instant information, that one of the largest lava flows in the world in the past 300 years could go almost un-noticed by the world's media, and even the exact location of the eruption
still being questioned a week later. The world's media are reluctant to visit the area, even those organisations with an interest and funding to cover such events. How far removed from nature we have become! Such eruptions have the ability to cause global cooling. The large lava flows in Laki, (Iceland 1783) produced a reduction in global temperatures by 1.3 degrees for 2-3 years. There is no indication yet that the eruption at Dalaffilla volcano will reduce global temperatures, but the SO2 plume has traveled half way around the world.
Image shows hotspots at Dalaffilla volcano on 3rd November 2008, the first day of the eruption. This shows Dalaffilla as the source of the eruption, with main flows east and west of the summit.
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