Erta Ale

Volcano number:221080
Region:Africa and Red Sea
Geodetic measurements?Yes
Deformation observation?No
Measurement method(s):InSAR
Duration of observation:
Inferred cause of deformation:
Characteristics of deformation:

Erta Ale is a basaltic shield volcano in the Erta Ale Range, northern Ethiopia, 600 m sea level. The volcano contains a 0.7 x 1.6 km, elliptical summit crater and another 1.8 x 3.1 km wide depression elongated parallel to the trend of the Erta Ale range is located to the SE of the summit. Fresh-looking basaltic lava flows from these fissures have poured into the caldera and locally overflowed its rim. Erta Ale houses a persistent lava lake in one, sometimes both, of its summit crater.

Pagli, et al. (2014), for the purposes of investigating regional velocity fields, has looked at Envisat InSAR data (2005 – 2010) covering this volcano. They report no deformation.


Reference:Pagli, C. et al., 2014. Current plate boundary deformation of the Afar rift from a 3-D velocity field inversion of InSAR and GPS. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, 119(11), pp. 8562-8575.
Location:40.67, 13.6

The persistent lava lake, housed in the 100 m deep steep sided southern pit crater, can clearly seen in this image. Photo by Luigi Cantamessa, 1992 (courtesy of Pierre Vetsch).