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New lava lake appears in Africa

File photo of an older lava lake at nearby Mount Nyiragongo (courtesy: Wikipeida)

File photo of an older lava lake at nearby Mount Nyiragongo (courtesy: Wikipeida)


Cheryl Santa Maria
Digital Reporter

Wednesday, November 26, 2014, 5:43 PM - A new lava lake has appeared at the top of Nyamuragira, one of Africa's most active volcanoes, for the first time in 75 years LiveScience reports.

The new lake, which is located in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, can be found deep within the volcano's North Pit Crater.

Benoit Smets, a volcanologist at the European Center for Geodynamics and Siesmology, told LiveScience that the lake is currently small and bubbling.

"It disappears and reappears, but if the current activity continues, we will probably have a lava lake like we have at [neighbouring volcano Nyiragongo, pictured above] within a few years to decades," he says.


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Scientists have been waiting for the new lake to form since a March 2012 eruption that created a collapse at the pit crater, paving a new path for lava to travel up the mountain's summit.

Both Nyamuragira and Nyiragongo are two of the few volcanoes on Earth that can sustain long-standing lava lakes.

The last lake in Nyamuragira drained in 1938 when lava was sent pouring out of the summit, creating a 30-km trail that ended in Lake Kivu.

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