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New eruption in the Afar region of Ethiopia 2 July 2009

Posted by admin in activity reports, Africa, eruptions, Ethiopia.
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Thermal anomalies and dense sulphur dioxide plumes in Ethiopia appear to indicate that a significant effusive eruption has taken place in the Manda Hararo area of the western Afar region. There is as yet no visual confirmation of the eruption from the ground.

There was a VEI=2 eruption at the Manda Hararo volcanic complex in August 2007, and a larger (possibly VEI=3) eruption in the Alu-Dalaffilla region in November 2008. In terms of size, volcanic SO2 expert Prof Simon Carn of Michigan Technical University reports that the current Manda Hararo event seems to lie somewhere between the two.

The MODIS thermal alerts service at the University of Hawaii has shown hotspots of varying intensity over a considerable area of the Manda Hararo region since 27 June, while the OMI Sulfur Dioxide Group has mapped considerable SO2 emissions on 29 and 30 June:

Aura/OMI - 06/29/2009 10:21-12:03 UT (NASA/KNMI/NIVR/FMI)

Aura/OMI - 06/30/2009 11:04-11:08 UT (NASA/KNMI/NIVR/FMI)

[Thanks to Volcanism Blog reader Gijs de Reijke for information received.]

UPDATE: Dr Erik Klemetti has an informative post about this event at Eruptions. He has also wisely used maps showing up-to-date political boundaries, thus saving himself a heap of trouble.

For other Ethiopian volcanism coverage: Ethiopia « The Volcanism Blog.

Global Volcanism Program: Manda Hararo – summary information for Manda Hararo (0201-115)

The Volcanism Blog


1. Eritrean - 2 July 2009

Why have you removed Eritrea from the map? What kind of stupidity is that?

2. magmaworld - 2 July 2009

unprofessional reportage, out dated map.

3. Haki - 3 July 2009

weird Eritrean!!! this is not a political map it is science map!!

4. volcanism - 3 July 2009

The map comes not from me but from the OMI Sulfur Dioxide Group website, as the post above makes absolutely clear. Yes, the Eritrea/Ethiopia border is missing, and that between Yemen and Saudi Arabia is omitted as well. But I’m perfectly happy to use it because these problems have no relevance to its scientific content. As Haki points out, it is a science map. It shows the data it needs to show: the sulphur dioxide cloud has no interest in national boundaries, outdated or otherwise.

5. Eritrean - 3 July 2009

Well I am sorry if I misunderstood you, but that is how we saw the map.

6. Haki - 6 July 2009

By the way it happened to me. In 1993 I was in in Israel for a short term training and we had Eritrean in the training. I was presenting a papaer and in my presentation I used maps to show ecology and climate data and graphs. On the map I used it was not only Ethio-Eritrea border but others borders was not clear. Map was old prepared by french scholar.

At middle of discussion The Eritrean guy who seem nice guy burst out and asked why I did not show Eritrea on the map. Course coordinator tried to explain to him but he was acting as a militant not as course participant and end up calling us enemies of Eritrean people.

It was an absurd and nonsense guy any how we ignored him continued our discussion and did not show up in the afternoon session.

That is my short story.

7. Abebe Alemu - 12 August 2009

Maps of Manda Hararo volcano

8. admin - 12 August 2009

7: What about them?

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