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'Mountain of God' Volcano Preparing to Erupt


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Thanks for the link, Brother Kim!

What a unique volcano!

Quote

http://blogs.stlawu.edu/lengai/what-is-carbonatite/

The magma that is currently being erupted at Oldoinyo Lengai is very unusual for two main reasons.

In the first place, it is an extrusive carbonatite. There are other sites where extrusive carbonatites (pyroclasts or lavas) occur, such as Kerimasi, Mosonik and Shombole nearby in the Eastern Rift Valley and Kaiserstuhl in the Rhine Rift. However over the Earth as a whole they are not common. In the second place, the rock at Oldoinyo Lengai contains a high proportion of alkalis, dominated by sodium carbonate, which is why it is called natrocarbonatite. Few other carbonatites contain significant quantities of sodium or of potassium, the other key element in alkaline igneous rocks. Oldoinyo Lengai’s uniqueness was first recognized as recently as 1960 (Dawson, 1962).

Natrocarbonatite is made up largely of two minerals, nyerereite (named after Julius Nyerere, the first president of independent Tanzania) and gregoryite (named after J.W. Gregory, one of the first geologists to study the East African Rift Valley and author of the book ‘The Great Rift Valley’). These minerals are both carbonates in which sodium and potassium are present in significant quantities. Both of these minerals are anhydrous (i.e they contain no water) and when they come into contact with the moisture of the atmosphere, they begin to react extremely quickly.

The black or dark brown lava and ash erupted at Oldoinyo Lengai begin to turn white within a few hours; see the photograph below, taken by Mary Graham-Morris in September 1994. Fresh black pahoehoe lava is flowing over pale brown and pale grey lava that is a few months old. The rapid change in colour takes place because new minerals are formed as water from the atmosphere reacts with the sodium and potassium carbonates.

p270994-10-300x203.gif

The lava flows like water, dissolves in water and turns white, instead of black, when cooled.

Its lava's temp. is only 1,000 degrees F, compared to the 2,000+ degrees F of lava from other volcanoes.

The lava contains high proportions of potassium and sodium.  Which explains why it it so easily dissolved by water.

 

Truly one of kind!

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