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Authors: Tedesco, D.* 
Vaselli, O.* 
Papale, P.* 
Carn, S. A.* 
Voltaggio, M.* 
Sawyer, G. M.* 
Durieux, J.* 
Kasereka, M.* 
Tassi, F.* 
Title: January 2002 volcano-tectonic eruption of Nyiragongo volcano, Democratic Republic of Congo
Journal: Journal of Geophysical Research 
Series/Report no.: / 112 (2007) American Geophysical Union
Issue Date: 18-Sep-2007
DOI: 10.1029/2006JB004762
Keywords: Nyiragongo
volcanic hazard
Subject Classification04. Solid Earth::04.08. Volcanology::04.08.08. Volcanic risk 
Abstract: In January 2002, Nyiragongo volcano erupted 14–34 × 106 m3 of lava from fractures on its southern flanks. The nearby city of Goma was inundated by two lava flows, which caused substantial socioeconomic disruption and forced the mass exodus of the population, leaving nearly 120,000 people homeless. Field observations showed marked differences between the lava erupted from the northern portion of the fracture system and that later erupted from the southern part. These observations are confirmed by new 238U and 232Th series radioactive disequilibria data, which show the presence of three different phases during the eruption. The lavas first erupted (T1) were probably supplied by a residual magma batch from the lava lake activity during 1994–1995. These lavas were followed by a fresh batch erupted from fissure vents as well as later (May–June 2002) from the central crater (T2). Both lava batches reached the surface via the volcano's central plumbing system, even though a separate flank reservoir may also have been involved in addition to the main reservoir. The final phase (T3) is related to an independent magmatic reservoir located much closer (or even beneath) the city of Goma. Data from the January 2002 eruption, and for similar activity in January 1977, suggest that the eruptive style of the volcano is likely to change in the future, trending toward more common occurrence of flank eruptions. If so, this would pose a significant escalation of volcanic hazards facing Goma and environs, thus requiring the implementation of different volcano-monitoring strategies to better anticipate where and when future eruptions might take place.
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