Africa’s most active volcano, Nyamuragira began to erupt along a new fissure on November 6, 2011. This image, from November 12, shows a river of lava flowing away from the rift. The Advanced Land Imager (ALI) on NASA’s Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) satellite acquired the image, which combines infrared and visible light. The hot lava glows orange. The cooler clouds are blue, while warm steam is white and orange.
While very fluid, the lava is flowing over flat ground, so it is moving slowly. The lava darkens to black as it cools, and in places it is clear that the surface of the lava has cooled while hot lava flows below. The new fissure is 10-12 kilometers from Nyamiuragira’s summit. A red glow on the peak of the nearby Nyiragongo volcano is a lava lake in the summit crater.
NASA Earth Observatory image created by Jesse Allen, using EO-1 ALI data provided courtesy of the NASA EO-1 team. Caption by Holli Riebeek.
In early September 2007, Tanzaniarsquo;s Ol Doinyo Lengai Volcano erupted, sending a cloud of ash into the atmosphere. The volcanic plume appears pale blue-gray, distinct near the summit, and growing more diffuse to the south. The charcoal-colored stains on the volcano’s flanks appear to be lava, but they are actually burn scars left behind by fires that were spawned by fast-flowing, narrow rivers of lava ejected by the volcano.