Mount Nyiragongo The Volcanoes Of The World Are Magnificent And

717 words - 3 pages

Mount Nyiragongo The volcanoes of the world are magnificent and fascinating structures. Some are quiet and some are colossal. Some lay dormant for many years while others erupt on a regular basis. Volcanoes can obliterate entire cities in a matter of minutes. Although it is not particularly well known, Mount Nyiragongo is an important and interesting, as well as a destructive volcano.Mount Nyiragongo is located in the eastern part of Zaire, or the Democratic Republic of Congo in Africa. It is at a latitude and longitude of 1.5S, 29.3E. Like the majority of African volcanoes, is associated with the East African Rift and is part of Africa's Virunga Volcanic Chain. This mountain chain is one of Africa's most prominent geologic features ("Nyiragongo Volcano, Democratic Republic of the Congo"). With a summit elevation of 11,365 feet, Nyiragongo towers over its neighboring volcano, Nyamlagira, and all of the other surrounding volcanoes ("Nyiragongo Volcanic Eruption").Nyiragongo is a stratovolcano, also know as a composite cone volcano. A stratovolcano is a tall, steep-sloped, nearly symmetrical volcanic structure. Its andesitic lava is mainly deposited from one enormous central vent. Typically, stratovolcanoes are the most violent type of volcano. Mount Nyiragongo is no exception. Raging fires, fierce tremors, plumes of smoke, and viscous lava flows that can range from one to one-hundred feet wide are all traits of a Mount Nyiragongo eruption. The volcano often spews dust and ash. It is even known sometimes to emit sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere. The large amount of debris in the air at times causes major health problems to the people and wildlife dwelling in the region ("Skies").Mount Nyiragongo has been very active for at least the last 150 years. The 1,200 meter wide crater contains benches, which mark previous lava lake levels ("Nyiragongo, Democratic Republic of Congo-Zaire"). A lava lake is formed when hot, liquid lava becomes trapped in a depression, or crater formed by an active volcano. A lava lake can be totally melted, but it can also be either partially or fully solidified. Lava lakes usually solidify, or harden, "from the top down and from the bottom up" ("Lava Lakes"). Sometimes a lava lake can take up to thirty years to harden, and they can be...

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