Activity: 2000-2001

In late December 1999 a new cone formed on the western side of the crater, which was named T51. Burra’s photographs, taken on 2nd January 2000, show this cone; on the left you can see its position near the west crater wall. The photograph on the right is a closeup of the cone with fresh lava in front of it.

Still in January 2000, lava flowed from a small vent between the eastern (T37 – T45) and western (T47 – T49) cone clusters. The photograph on on the left was taken by Burra on 6 January, looking to the southwest from the east rim. The photograph on the right was taken by Burra on 24 January shows quite a large fresh lava flow between T37 and the T49 cluster, extending to the southwest. There is white lava at the eastern overflow; no sign of recent changes here.

David Bressler took this photograph in late April or early May 2000; this active cone is probably T49B, towards the northern part of the crater floor.

These two photographs were taken by Celia Nyamweru on 23rd July 2000; on the right is the active cone T51. On the left is a spray of ejecta from T37B that was thrown out in a short violent eruption around 1.00 p.m. that day.

The photograph below, taken by Celia Nyamweru looking northwards from the summit on 24 July 2000, shows a large rather fresh lava flow covering much of the southern part of the crater floor. This flow was still warm in late July and had probably formed a few days before we arrived in the crater on 23 July.

The upper part of this lava flow is shown in the photograph below, on the left. The flow formed a ‘lava fall’ between the eastern slope of the 1993 cone T24 (on the right) and the main crater wall (on the left). Looking straight ahead is T26 (also formed in 1993) at the base of the wall that runs up to the summit. The photograph on the right shows the ‘lapilli field’ that formed to the east of T37 (the big pale cone to the left) and T37D (tbe darker cone to the right). The lapilli were well formed spheres and ovals less than 2 mm in diameter, forming a layer about 8 mm thick. The field surface was black and warm on 23 July 2000 and had probably formed only a few days earlier.

In July 2000 we noticed many deep cracks on the north crater floor, some of which extended from the floor up through the north crater wall. Some were emitting steam and sulfur fumes, with black stains and bright yellow sulfur crystals. Their width ranged from 60 to 100 cm and one of them was over 4 m deep. The photograph to the left below shows the sulfur stains; the film carton gives a sense of the width of the crack. The photograph to the right was taken looking northwards towards the north crater wall; this crack was steaming during most of our visit, between 23 – 30 July 2000. In the background you can see the tents that our group slept in.

Not much change took place at the overflow points on the crater rim between July 1999 and July 2000; compare the photographs from July 2000 with the two photographs below. The one on the left shows the northwest overflow and on the right is the eastern overflow.

Between 3 and 11 October 2000 there was quite a lot of activity from the T48 and T49 cones on the northwest crater floor; Chris Weber reported on this and sent these photographs. The one on the left shows the northwest side of T49B, with the collapsed section from which flash floods of lava were emitted twice during this period. The lava flowed to the northwest but did not quite reach the overflow point. The contrast of the fresh black lava over older, weathered white lava is shown in the photograph on the right.

Burra Gadiye’s photograph below, taken looking north from the summit, probably on 16th January 2001, shows little change in the crater floor. The large flow over the south crater floor that was warm and dark in July 2000 is now grey; as are the flows in the northwest that formed in October 2000. T51 is the prominent cone to the left (west) of the crater; T47 is the prominent cone in the center, and the T37 cluster lies to the right (east). In the foreground are the cones formed in June 1993, T26 and T30.

Tom Frisch took these two views looking north from close to the summit on 16 January 2001;. The photograph on the left shows the two overflow areas, to the northwest (on the left) and to the east (on the right). The photograph on the right shows the various clusters of cones in the crater floor; T30 in the foreground, T47 the tall narrow cone to the north of it, and T51 the white cone on the left.

And what happened next?

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