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Posts Tagged ‘Great Rift Valley’

Volcanoes Of Ethiopia

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on September 13, 2008


Location: 14.88 N, 39.82 E
Elevation: 2,985 ft.(910m)

Alid is a little-visited volcanic structure in the Danakil depression of Eritrea/Ethiopia and covers an area of about 20 sq. miles (30 sq Km). Alid is actually a structural uplift – a dome – whose summit has collapsed.

There have also been explosive eruptions which deposited pyroclastic flows around the uplift. So Alid is a very peculiar type of volcano-tectonic structure.

Alid has been very important geographically. Before Alid was uplifted the Red Sea covered part of Afar. After the Alid activity the sea could not enter Afar and gradually the water there evaporated, leaving behind vast plains of white salts.


Location: 10.069 N, 40.837 E
Elevation: 5,684ft. (1,733m)

Amoissa, also known as Abida, or Dabita, is a caldera that is east of Ayelu volcano and is considered its twin. Steam still sometimes leaks out around the caldera walls, suggesting that hot rocks exist at depth.


Location: 10.082 N, 40.702 E
Elevation: 7,035ft. (2,145m)


Ayelu is a stratovolcano in the Ethiopian rift valley. The volcano has no historic eruptions but probably has erupted sometime in the last ten thousand years; unconfirmed activity is reported from 1928.


Location:8.05N, 38.35E
Elevation:7,482 ft. (2,281 m)

Butajira, also locally known as Ara Shatan, is the only maar in a 20 km line of recent cinder cones and lava flows on the western margin of the Ethiopian Rift Valley, about 140 km south of Addis Ababa.

Traditionally, the origin of Ara Shatan (whose Guraghinya meaning is ‘Devil’s Lake’) is ascribed to a wizard who long ago fought the local people. When the wizard was defeated he plunged his spear into the ground and angrily cried, “Let this be the devil’s home” whereupon the ground collapsed forming the crater. Local informants maintain that a stone thrown into the lake would be hurled back by the devil.


Location: 9.0N, 38.0E
Elevation: 10,692.8 ft (3260 m)

Dendi is a 5 mile (8 km) wide caldera in central Ethiopia, quite close to Wonchi caldera. The most remarkable thing in Dendi is a wonderful, brightly painted Ethiopian Orthodox church. The peak of the Dendi volcano is Mt. Boti, and Lake Dendi lies 118 meters below this point.


Location: 13.6N, 41.8E
Elevation: 5,330 feet (1,625 m)

Dubbi is a tall stratovolcano rising near the coast of the Red Sea (top of image). The volcano is also called Edd, Gebel Dubbey, and Djebel Dubbeh. There are at least 19 craters near the top of the volcano with the largest being roughly 100 x 50 m.

Erta Ale

Elevation: 2,011 feet (613 m)

Erta Ale – Queen of all volcanoes — is a shield volcano in the Afar region of Ethiopia. Erta Ale is a remote and rarely visited volcano that is known currently to have an active lava lake in its summit crater.

Erta Ale has undergone seven eruption events in the past 125 years. Three of the early eruption dates, 1873, 1903, and 1904 are uncertain. However, 1906, 1940, 1960, and 1967 are well established events. Erta Ale has been erupting continuously since 1967.


Location: 8.975 N, 39.93 S
Elevation: 6,584 ft. (2,007 m)

Fantale is a stratovolcano on the floor of the Ethiopian Rift Valley. Steam issues from vents along the inner walls of the volcano’s 6 km (4 miles) wide caldera.

Gariboldi (or Kone) Caldera

Location: 8.80N, 39.69E
Elevation: 1619 m

Air photo from the Geologic Survey of Ethiopia shows two lobes for this caldera. The main road from Addis Ababa to Djibouti passes along the join of the two collapses.

The older name of the caldera, Gariboldi, supposedly comes from the engineer who built this road during the temporary Italian occupation of Ethiopia in the early 1940s. The new name, Kone, is a local tribal word.


Lat. 4.08, Long. 37.42
Elevation: 1067 m

The Mega volcanic field includes a number of maars that cut through ancient crystalline rock . If the area did not have a desert climate, the maar would probably contain a lake.


Location: 8.97N, 39.93E

Sabober is a small tuff ring in Ethiopia within a few kilometers of Fantale caldera. Local legends state that the dark lava flow or some other nearby flow, erupted in about 1820.


Location: 7.47N, 38.55E
Elevation: 6,806 ft.(2,075 m)

Lake Shala is the deepest lake (257m) and the largest crater (~12×15 km) in Ethiopia. Volcanologically, the Shala basin is a caldera which probably collapsed during the late Pliocene (about 3-4 mya) following large eruptions of ignimbrites and pumice. The relations between the pre-existing volcanic rock of the rift valley and Shala’s products are unclear, but it is likely that the ignimbrites around Langano, Zuway, and other places in the rift came from Shala. Thick, light colored pumice units exposed high on the south rim of the caldera undoubtedly are from the Shala eruption. Erosionally isolated stacks of ignimbrite and pumice occur on the north rim of the caldera near the track to Abiata.

Chitu is a beautiful crater lake (crater diameter of 1.6 x 1.2 km) with a population of 5,000-10,000 flamingos. The crater’s rim (about 80 m above lake level) is composed of gray tuff containing bomb sags, cross-bedding and dune/antidune structures, comfirming that it erupted through a shallow lake.



Location: 9.0N, 38.0E
Elevation: 11,316 ft (3450 m)

Wonchi is a 3.0 by 2.5 mile (4.8 by 4.0 km) wide caldera in the central Ethiopian highlands close to Dendi caldera. Wonchi contains a single crater lake about 1476 feet (450 meters) below the rim of the volcano.


Location: 8.32N, 38.52E
Elevation: 9184 ft (2800 m)

Zukwala is easily the tallest mountain near Adis Ababa. It stands 3600 ft (1100m) above the surrounding plain. The volcano is 7.5 miles (12 km) wide at its base. Many plants cover Zukwala’s slopes. There is a small lake in the bottom of the caldera. Natives of the area believe that the water from the lake will cure illnesses. Two churches have been built on the rim of the caldera.

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