Sunday, July 1, 2012

Nabro Volcano, Eritrea, Has Seismicity In The Region

Nabro volcano, which had until recently been dormant (or considered by some to be extinct), erupted last year on July 12th, 2011, with a rather large ash cloud followed by a massive lava flow that covered several square kilometers. This eruption was preceded by a 5.1 magnitude earthquake. While reports out of the area are scant, the volcano was widely considered to have ended its latest period of activity many months ago, however there have been no real follow up reports detailing the eruption from start to finish, at least to international media online. is reporting renewed seismicity in the area as of today, with a 4.8 magnitude tremblor taking place SE of the crater/caldera area. This is not an insignificant quake for a volcano, however this could be purely tectonic, given that there have been no follow up quakes, harmonic tremor, or other signs that this might be volcanic at this time. This could also be yet another sign of the volcano awakening again, which could cause some problems for neighboring countries.

The volcano is situated in Eritrea, but borders Ethiopia, and Djibouti is the nearest science station that can record seismic signals from the war torn region. Most expeditions to the area are difficult and hamper direct scientific observation. It is likely that even if an eruption were to occur in the area, we would, like last time, hear about it from Ethiopia, or NASA.

At this time is is far too early to speculate on whether this is a volcanic or tectonic event, but if anything new occurs, I will post an update.

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