Nabro Volcano Erupts Again Thursday

 

By Mark Dunphy – Thu Jun 16, 10:41 pm

Volcanic activity has increased at the Nabro volcano in Eritrea, just four days after the stratovolcano sent an ash plume more than 15km into the air.

The ash drifted westnorthwest over Sudan Thursday evening threatening to bring further disruption to air traffic in the east Africa region.

Sunday night’s eruption led to some flight cancellations in neighbouring Sudan, Djibouti and Ethiopia, and saw a massive ash plume being carried as far away as Saudi Arabia, Israel, Turkmenistan, the Central African Republic and Egypt.

The below MODIS Terra 1km True Colour satellite image, captured Thursday afternoon, shows the ash plume drifting hundreds of kilometres west of Nabro.

Click on image for a larger view. Image NASA/Modsis

Image NASA/Modsis

The most recent ash advisory from the Toulouse, France, based Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre indicates that a relatively small region is affected by emissions from Nabro.   The next update is expected to feature a much more expansive ash advisory, affecting neighbouring Sudan.

The latest eruption follows two relatively small earthquakes in the region on Thursday. Two magnitude earthquakes were registered in the vicinity of the stratvolcao at 3.47am and 8.30am (both GMT).

The below map from EMSC identifies the epicentre of the most recent shallow earth tremor.

Part of the Afar Triangle, Nabro is one of many volcanic caldera complexes in the north easternmost part of the East African Rift valley region. The stratovolcano is located in the Danakil Depression, close to Eritrea’s border with Ethiopia and north of Djibouti, and has not erupted in at least 150 years. It is the most prominent of 3 large volcanoes (Nabro, Dubbi, Mallahle) in the region, each containing a large summit caldera.  Nabro comprises lava domes, lava flows, and two calderas, 8 and 5 km in diameter.

The volcano is located along the Great Rift Valley, also known as the East African Rift. the divergent plate boundary extends from the Afar Triple Junction southward across eastern Africa, and is in the process of splitting the African Plate into two new separate plates, the Nubian Plate and the Somali Plate.  Seismic activity is frequent in Ethiopia In 1961 alone three thousand tremors were recorded from the centre of the Wollo province resulting in a 20km fissure being opened on the slopes of the Borkena graben.

Google Earth image of Nabro volcano in Eritrea

Google Earth image of Nabro volcano in Eritrea

This image was acquired by the Advanced Land Imager (ALI) aboard the Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) satellite on June 14, 2011. Nabro began erupting for the first time in recorded history on June 12th.

This image was acquired by the Advanced Land Imager (ALI) aboard the Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) satellite on June 14, 2011. Nabro began erupting for the first time in recorded history on June 12th.

he Nabro eruption, from 00 UTC 13th June to 1900 UTC 14th June, 2011.