Source: Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth
Volcanic eruptions are often preceded by measurable changes, like seismicity, gas emissions, or variations in ongoing low-level eruptive activity. These changes, which can aid in forecasting hazards for surrounding populations, can be difficult to detect at remote or inaccessible volcanoes. At Nyiragongo, Democratic Republic of Congo, past flank eruptions have repeatedly devastated the densely populated city of Goma and its surroundings, mostly recently in May 2021.
Barrière et al.  use satellite data, especially synthetic aperture radar, to quantitatively measure the level of the lava lake within Nyiragongo’s summit crater and determining the rate of lava effusion over time. Variations in lava level and effusion rate correlate well with seismicity and indicate changes in subsurface dynamics and pressure within the volcano’s magma plumbing system. These data offer an important tool to aid in forecasting periods of heightened hazard at this and similar volcanoes worldwide.
Citation: Barrière, J., Nicolas d’Oreye, , Smets, B., Oth, A., Delhaye, L., Subira, J., et al. (2022). Intra-crater eruption dynamics at Nyiragongo (D.R. Congo), 2002–2021. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, 127, e2021JB023858. https://doi.org/10.1029/2021JB023858
—Michael Poland, Associate Editor, Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth