November 2011 eruption

ERUPTION ALERT – November 2011 eruption of Nyamulagira
Information report n°2 – 10th November, 2011

Eruption summary
On 6th November 2011, 5:55 PM (UTC+2), Nyamulagira volcano has started to erupt after two days of intense seismic activity. This eruption is located ± 11 km east of the Nyamulagira main edifice, close to one of the 1989 eruptive sites. The previous eruption of this volcano occurred in January 2010, i.e. 22 months before this event.

Field information
According to seismologists of the Goma Volcano Observatory (GVO), an intense seismic activity was observed since Friday 4th November 2011. This activity was characterized by swarms of both long and short period earthquakes and persisted until the eruption. Since the eruption start, the seismic activity is only characterized by tremors.

Since the beginning of the eruption, field observations are scarce. There is still no information about the length of the lava flow and its evolution.

There is currently no evidence of abnormal activity on Nyiragongo volcano.

Information from remote sensing

The thermal monitoring of the eruption using MODVOLC allow us estimating the path followed by the lava flow as well as its maximum length. The Figure 1 shows that the lava is flowing northward and already crossed several kilometers after only few days.

Figure 1 – Location of the November 2011 eruption of Nyamulagira volcano. The yellow triangle is the location of the eruptive site according to the GVO. The red squares represent the thermal hotspots detected on MODIS using the MODVOLC algorithm (Wright et al., 2002; Wright and Flynn, 2004) on 6th and 7th November 2011. The yellow arrow represents the presumed flow direction of the lava.       !!! REMARQUE: THIS MAP DISPLAYS A WRONG LOCATION OF THE ERUPTION. PLEASE, REFER TO THE FOLLOWING REPORTS TO HAVE THE CORRECT LOCATION. !!!


NASA Global Sulfur Dioxide Monitoring (
Contact: Simon Carn (
According to the OMI imagery, a large gas plume was detected over the Virunga volcanoes on 7th November 2011 (Fig. 2). On 9th November, the gas plume already covers a large part of the DR Congo (Fig. 3).

Figure 2 – OMI SO2 detection over the Virunga volcanoes on 7th November 2011. Source:

Figure 3 – OMI SO2 detection over the Virunga volcanoes on 9th November 2011. Source:

Special acquisitions of Hyperion, ALI, ASTER and ENVISAT-ASAR images have been requested. First acquisitions are scheduled for the end of this week. More information will be available soon.