Ol Doinyo Lengai


Ol Doinyo Lengai, situated in northern Tanzania’s Gregory Rift Valley, is a globally unique volcano distinguished by its natrocarbonatite lava. This exceptionally low-viscosity and low-temperature lava (approximately 500-600°C) produces remarkably fluid flows in contrast to the more common silicate magmas of other volcanoes. Ol Doinyo Lengai’s eruptive activity is characterized by both effusive lava flows and intermittent explosive eruptions, with ash plumes rising several kilometers.

Location: Gregory Rift Valley, Tanzania
Coordinates: -2.759556, 35.914004
Volcano Type: Stratovolcano


Ol Doinyo Lengai’s Location


Ol Doinyo Lengai’s Latest Status

2024: Currently Active – Minor Unrest


Ol Doinyo Lengai’s Eruptive History

Year Overview
1883 – 1915 Several eruptions reported, details vary between sources. Likely characterized by a mix of effusive lava flows and moderately explosive ash-producing events.
1917 Major explosive eruption, depositing ash up to 48 km away. This eruption likely produced a significant ash plume and potentially pyroclastic flows.
1921 – 1940 Series of eruptions, characterized by both lava flows and ash ejections. Some eruptions during this period were significant enough to form noticeable lava flow features on the volcano’s flanks.
1940 – 1954 A period of notable activity, with continued lava flows and a significant ash eruption in 1940 that deposited ash as far as Loliondo (100km away). This eruption likely had a major impact on the local environment.
1954, 1955, 1958 Smaller eruptions primarily focused on lava flow production. These likely involved the steady extrusion of natrocarbonatite lava from vents or fissures.
1960 – 1966 Large explosive eruptions in 1966, forming a deep crater. These eruptions would have been highly energetic, with ash columns, pyroclastic flows, and possibly volcanic bombs ejected.
1983 – 2007 Continuous effusive activity, with lava flows filling the crater. This extended period was dominated by the slow and persistent extrusion of natrocarbonatite lava, building up the crater floor.
2007 – 2008 Significant eruptions, creating a new crater within the larger crater structure. These powerful eruptions reshaped the summit area of the volcano, likely involving explosive activity and lava fountaining.
2008 – Present Ongoing low-level activity, with lava flows intermittently observed within the crater. This period sees the volcano in a less explosive phase, though the formation of lava flows and the potential for future eruptions remain.


Ol Doinyo Lengai Monitoring

Not available for this volcano.


Ol Doinyo Lengai Images