The Dynamics of Degassing at Oldoinyo Lengai

  • D. M. Pyle
  • H. Pinkerton
  • G. E. Norton
  • J. B. Dawson
Part of the IAVCEI Proceedings in Volcanology book series (VOLCANOLOGY, volume 4)


This chapter summarizes field observations of degassing made at Oldoinyo Lengai in 1988 and their implications for the dynamics of the Lengai magma system. Observations of bubbles bursting in a lava lake, and sudden changes in magma level and vesicularity at active vents are consistent with the degassing model developed by Jaupart and Vergniolle (1988, 1989), and suggest that the shallow plumbing system comprises several small (<10-m radius) chambers containing transient foam layers which may, in turn, be connected at depth to a single, larger chamber.


Lava Lake Foam Layer Strombolian Eruption Chamber Roof Bubble Explosion 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Blackburn EA, Wilson L, Sparks RSJ (1976) Mechanisms and dynamics of strombolian activity. J Geol Soc Lond 132:429–440.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Chouet B, Hamisevicz N, McGetchin TR (1974) Photoballistics of volcanic jet activity at Stromboli, Italy. J Geophys Res 79:4961–4976.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Clift R, Grace JR, Weber ME (1978) Bubbles, drops and particles. Academic Press, New York, pp 1–380.Google Scholar
  4. Dawson JB (1962) The geology of Oldoinyo Lengai. Bull Volcanol 24:349–387.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Dawson JB (1989) Sodium carbonatite extrusions from Oldoinyo Lengai, Tanzania: implications for carbonatite complex genesis. In: Bell K (ed) Carbonatities — genesis and evolution. Unwin and Hyman, London, pp 255–277.Google Scholar
  6. Dawson JB, Bowden P, Clark GC (1968) Activity of the carbonatite volcano, Oldoinyo Lengai. Geol Rundsch 57:865–879.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Dawson JB, Pinkerton H, Norton GE, Pyle DM (1990) Physicochemical properties of alkali carbonatite lavas: data from the 1988 eruption of Oldoinyo Lengai, Tanzania. Geology 18:260–263.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Ferry JM, Baumgartner L (1987) Thermodynamic models of molecular fluids at the elevated pressures and temperatures of crustal metamorphism. Rev Mineral 17:323–365.Google Scholar
  9. Hobley CW (1918) A volcanic eruption in east Africa. J East Afr Uganda Nat Hist Soc 5:339–343.Google Scholar
  10. Janz GJ (1988) Thermodynamic and transport properties for molten salts: correlation equations for critically evaluated density, surface tension, electrical conductance and viscosity data. J Phys Chem Ref Data 17 Suppl 2:1–309.Google Scholar
  11. Jaupart C, Vergniolle S (1988) Laboratory models of Hawaiian and Strombolian eruptions. Nature 331:58–60.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Jaupart C, Vergniolle S (1989) The generation and collapse of a foam layer at the roof of a basaltic magma chamber. J Fluid Mechanics 203:347–380.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Javoy M, Pineau F, Staudacher T, Cheminee JL, Krafft M (1989) Mantle volatiles sampled from a continental rift: the 1988 eruption of Oldoinyo Lengai (Tanzania). Terra Abstr 1:324.Google Scholar
  14. Keller J, Krafft M (1990) Effusive natrocarbonatite activity of Oldoinyo Lengai, June 1988. Bull Volcanol 52:629–645.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Krafft M, Keller J (1989) Temperature measurements in carbonatite lava lakes and flows from Oldoinyo Lengai, Tanzania. Science 245:168–170.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. McGetchin TR, Settle M, Chouet B (1974) Cinder cone growth modelled after Northeast crater, Mount Etna, Sicily. J Geophys Res 79:3257–3272.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Nyamweru C (1988) Activity of Oldoinyo Lengai volcano, Tanzania 1983-1987. J Afr Earth Sci 7:603–610.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Nyamweru C (1989) Report of activity in the northerm crater of Oldoinyo Lengai, 24th June to 1st July 1988. J East Afr Nat Hist Soc Natl Mus 79:1–15.Google Scholar
  19. Pyle DM, Dawson JB, Ivanovich M (1991) Short-lived decay series disequilibria in the natrocarbonatite lavas of Oldoinyo Lengai, Tanzania: constraints on the timing of magma genesis. Earth Planet Sci Lett 105:378–396.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Settle M, McGetchin TR (1980) Statistical analysis of persistent explosive activity at Stromboli, 1971: implications for eruption prediction. J Volcanol Geotherm Res 8:45–58.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Sparks RSJ (1978) The dynamics of bubble formation and growth in magmas: a review and analysis. J Volcanol Geotherm Res 3:1–37.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Tilling RI (1987) Fluctuations in surface height of active lava lakes during 1972–1974 Mauna Ulu eruption, Kilauea volcano, Hawaii. J Geophys Res 92:13721–13730.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Vergniolle S, Jaupart C (1986) Separated two-phase flow and basaltic eruptions. J Geophys Res 91:12842–12860.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Vergniolle S, Jaupart C (1990) Dynamics of degassing at Kilaeua volcano, Hawaii. J Geophys Res 95:2793–2809.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Wilson L (1972) Explosive volcanic eruptions — II. The atmospheric trajectories of pyroclasts. Geophys J R Astr Soc 30:381–392.Google Scholar
  26. Wilson L (1980) Relationships between pressure, volatile content and ejecta velocity in three types of volcanic explosion. J Volcanol Geotherm Res 8:297–313.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. M. Pyle
    • 1
  • H. Pinkerton
    • 2
  • G. E. Norton
    • 3
  • J. B. Dawson
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Earth SciencesUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeUK
  2. 2.Environmental Science Division, Institute of Environmental and Biological SciencesUniversity of LancasterLancasterUK
  3. 3.British Geological SurveyKeyworth, NottinghamUK
  4. 4.Grant Institute of GeologyUniversity of EdinburghEdinburghUK

Personalised recommendations