East African Rift Volcanoes
Science has unearthed the secret to what might have been alchemy at Oldoinyo Lengai volcano in Tanzania.
There, in the ancient East African Rift at a place known to local Maasai people as the Mountain of God, Oldoinyo Lengai spews forth carbon dioxide-laden lavas called carbonatites. The carbonatites line the volcano's flanks like snowballs.
Oldoinyo Lengai is the only place on Earth where carbonatites currently erupt--and where carbon dioxide from a volcano doesn't vanish into thin air as a gas.
In a paper published the journal Nature, scientists report the results of a study of Oldoinyo Lengai's volcanic gas emissions, sampled by the team during a carbonatite lava eruption.
Currently the type of activity shown can not be viewed following larger eruptions in 2007-2008 which left a large crater and removed the small eruptive cones as seen in the footage. The footage taken in July 2000 shows an extremely active cone on the main crater floor. A brief view is taken into the tiny lava lake in the top of the cone during a phase of reduced activity and multiple overflows and resulting lava flows and other features are documented.
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