Friday, November 07, 2008

Dalaffilla Volcano, Ethiopia - John Seach

There is some debate over exactly which volcano erupted in Ethiopia this week. Satellite images show that a large lava flow originated from a region between Dalaffilla and Alu volcanoes in the Erta Ale Range. Alu and Dalaffilla are twin volcanoes separated by only 3 km. Alu volcano is ellipsoidal in shape, and built of old basaltic lavas. In contrast Dalaffilla is a steep cone built by eruptions of silicic lava. Some reports have assumed this week's large lava flow must have come from Alu volcano bacause it has produced basaltic lava flows before. However, satellite images have shown lava hotspots on the side of Dalaffilla volcano. Dalaffilla volcano as the source of the lava flows was confirmed by a researcher at Addis Ababa University. The summary is that an eruption of lava began at at Dalaffilla volcano in the Afar range of Ethiopia on Tuesday 4th November. The lava spread over a large area of at least 300 sq km, and this covered parts of Alu volcano. A sulphur dioxide plume drifted as far as Thailand more than 6000 km away.
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