November 2011 eruption

ERUPTION ALERT – November 2011 eruption of Nyamulagira
Information report n°1 – 9th November, 2011

Eruption summary
On 6th November 2011, 17h55 UTC+2, Nyamulagira volcano has started to erupt after two days of intense seismic activity. This eruption is located east of the Nyamulagira main edifice. The previous eruption of this volcano occurred in January 2010, i.e. 22 months before this event.

Field information
According to the Goma Volcano Observatory (GVO), the eruptive center is located ± 11 km east of the Nyamulagira main edifice (29.309° E / 1.4227° S), close to one of the 1989 eruptive sites. The lava is currently flowing northward and does not seem to threaten inhabited areas.
REMARQUE: the true location of the eruptive site has been checked on satellite imagery. It appears that the location provided by the GVO was wrong. The correct location of the eruptive vent is 29.3065° E / 1.3793°S. The true location was used for the lava flow simulations illustrated in the following reports. (16/11/2011 update)

Information from remote sensing
The thermal monitoring system MODVOLC (available online on indicates hotspots in the same area reported by the GVO (Fig. 1). These hotspots correspond to thermal emissions from the erupted lava.


Figure 1 – Location of the November 2011 eruption of Nyamulagira volcano. The green 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.

Special acquisitions of high resolution SAR and optical satellite images have been requested. First acquisitions are scheduled for the end of this week. More information will be available soon.