Menengai

Photo of this volcano
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  • Country
  • Volcanic Region
  • Primary Volcano Type
  • Last Known Eruption
  • 0.2°S
  • 36.07°E

  • 2278 m
    7472 ft

  • 222060
  • Latitude
  • Longitude

  • Summit
    Elevation

  • Volcano
    Number

The Global Volcanism Program has no activity reports for Menengai.

The Global Volcanism Program has no Weekly Reports available for Menengai.

The Global Volcanism Program has no Bulletin Reports available for Menengai.

The massive Menengai shield volcano occupies the floor of the East African Rift. Construction of a 30 cu km shield volcano beginning about 200,000 years ago was followed by the eruption of two voluminous ash-flow tuffs, each preceded by major pumice falls. The first took place about 29,000 years ago and produced a large caldera. The second major eruption, producing about 30 cu km of compositionally zoned peralkaline trachytic magma about 8000 years ago, was associated with formation of the present-day 12 x 8 km summit caldera. More than 70 post-caldera lava flows cover the caldera floor, the youngest of which may be only a few hundred years old. No historical eruptions are known from Menengai. Fumarolic activity is restricted to the caldera.

Summary of Holocene eruption dates and Volcanic Explosivity Indices (VEI).

Start Date Stop Date Eruption Certainty VEI Evidence Activity Area or Unit
6050 BCE (?) Unknown Confirmed 6 Radiocarbon (uncorrected)
7350 BCE ± 500 years Unknown Confirmed   Tephrochronology

The Global Volcanism Program has no synonyms or subfeatures listed for Menengai.

Farmlands occupy the flanks of Menengai shield volcano on the floor of the East African Rift. A major explosive eruption about 8000 years ago resulted in formation of the 12 x 8 km wide caldera seen in this Landsat image. More than 70 post-caldera lava flows cover the caldera floor, the youngest of which may be only a few hundred years old. Most lava flows were erupted from vents near the center of the caldera and ponded against the caldera walls. The city of Nakuru lies at the bottom of the image, south of the caldera.

NASA Landsat image, 1999 (courtesy of Hawaii Synergy Project, Univ. of Hawaii Institute of Geophysics & Planetology).

The following references have all been used during the compilation of data for this volcano, it is not a comprehensive bibliography. Discussion of another volcano or eruption (sometimes far from the one that is the subject of the manuscript) may produce a citation that is not at all apparent from the title.

Leat P T, 1984. Geological evolution of the trachytic caldera volcano Menengai, Kenya Rift Valley. J Geol Soc London, 141: 1057-1069.

Leat P T, Macdonald R, Smith R L, 1984. Geochemical evolution of the Menengai Caldera volcano, Kenya. J Geophys Res, 89: 8571-8592.

Macdonald R, Navarro J M, Upton B G J, Davies G R, 1994. Strong compositional zonation in peralkaline magma: Menengai, Kenya Rift Valley. J Volc Geotherm Res, 60: 301-325.

Richard J J, Neumann van Padang M, 1957. Africa and the Red Sea. Catalog of Active Volcanoes of the World and Solfatara Fields, Rome: IAVCEI 4: 1-118.

Smith M, 1991. . (pers. comm.).

Williams L A J, Macdonald R, Chapman G R, 1984. Late Quaternary caldera volcanoes of the Kenya Rift Valley. J Geophys Res, 89: 8553-8570.

Volcano Types

Shield
Caldera
Pyroclastic cone(s)

Tectonic Setting

Rift zone
Continental crust (> 25 km)

Rock Types

Major
Trachyte / Trachyandesite
Rhyolite
Basalt / Picro-Basalt

Population

Within 5 km
Within 10 km
Within 30 km
Within 100 km
2,192
204,608
886,293
4,259,089

Affiliated Databases

Large Eruptions of Menengai Information about large Quaternary eruptions (VEI >= 4) is cataloged in the Large Magnitude Explosive Volcanic Eruptions (LaMEVE) database of the Volcano Global Risk Identification and Analysis Project (VOGRIPA).
WOVOdat WOVOdat is a database of volcanic unrest; instrumentally and visually recorded changes in seismicity, ground deformation, gas emission, and other parameters from their normal baselines. It is sponsored by the World Organization of Volcano Observatories (WOVO) and presently hosted at the Earth Observatory of Singapore.
EarthChem EarthChem develops and maintains databases, software, and services that support the preservation, discovery, access and analysis of geochemical data, and facilitate their integration with the broad array of other available earth science parameters. EarthChem is operated by a joint team of disciplinary scientists, data scientists, data managers and information technology developers who are part of the NSF-funded data facility Integrated Earth Data Applications (IEDA). IEDA is a collaborative effort of EarthChem and the Marine Geoscience Data System (MGDS).
Smithsonian Collections Search the Smithsonian's NMNH Department of Mineral Sciences collections database. Go to the "Search Rocks and Ores" tab and use the Volcano Name drop-down to find samples.