This is an vigorous stratovolcano which has a height of about 3470m with in Virunga Mountains and is greatly connected with Virunga Albertine rift valley. This volcano is located within the Democratic Republic of Congo inside Virunga National Park. It’s also located 20km north of the city of Goma as well as Lake Kivu. Mount Nyiragongo Volcano has a crater which is two kilometers wide and also has a lava lake. This lake which is located in the crater has got two different chilled lava benches in the crater walls. One of the lava benches is about 3,175m and another one is about 2,975m. The Nyiragongo Mountain and the Nyamuragira are responsible for about 40% of past volcanic eruptions in Africa.
Geology of Nyiragongo:
Since 1882, the volcano has erupted at least 34 times, including times when the eruptions were continuous for almost a year. This volcano also erupts with other older volcanoes; Shaheru and Baratu; these are also surrounded by many other undersized volcanic residue cones from the frank eruptions. Lava erupted is usually of fluid state and it’s made of melilite Nephelinite. This lava flow however poses no harm to the life of humans due to low silica content inside it. The lava lake on the volcanic mountain is about 60 feet high and is in a wide steep-sided cinder cone which was created on the crater base.
About Nyiragongo Eruptions:
There have been about 34 eruptions that have taken place around the Nyiragongo volcanic mountains and these include; the 1977 eruption, this happened when the crater walls of the volcano fractured which led to the draining of the lava lake within an hour. This led to the flooding of the lava down on the edges of the volcano and on the higher slopes which resulted into killing over seventy (70) people in the nearby villages. This 1977 eruption that took place tried to raise awareness about the dangers of this volcano and it also created a fresh small volcano called Murara which is a few kilometers away from Nyamuragira.
The second eruption took place in 2002, this happened after several processes of Fumarolic and seismic activities which happened on this volcano. There was a fissure that was released in the southern flank and was about 13km spreading from about 2800m to 1550m of elevation hence reaching the town of Goma which is the capital along the northern shores of Lake Kivu. The lava greatly streamed towards the city of Goma, however over 400000 people had been vacated from the city to the border of Rwanda in Gisenyi town. Lava run and covered Goma airport raising threat that it might release larger amounts of Carbondioxide as well as Methane. This 2002 eruption killed over 147 people and the city of Goma collapsed due to the fact that the building was falling apart leaving over 120000 people without homes. Many more buildings in the city of Goma continued to fall due to the massive earthquake that continued to happen for close to 3 months following the eruptions.
The ongoing threats of mountain Nyiragongo include the Carbondioxide that killed many children up to the recent times. Also in places where gas was released from underground and dispersed in the wind had many deadly effects to the lives of the people. Just recently on the 8th of March 2016, the Goma observatory discovered yet another vent which opened at the Northeastern side of the crater; there is a possibility of this bringing yet another eruption in Goma town.