Photo of this volcano
Google Earth icon
Google Earth Placemark
  • Country
  • Subregion Name
  • Primary Volcano Type
  • Last Known Eruption
  • 1.5°S
  • 29.45°E

  • 4507 m
    14783 ft

  • 223040
  • Latitude
  • Longitude

  • Summit

  • Volcano

There are no activity reports for Karisimbi.

 Available Weekly Reports

There are no Weekly Reports available for Karisimbi.

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

Start Date Stop Date Eruption Certainty VEI Evidence Activity Area or Unit
8050 BCE (?) Unknown Confirmed   Potassium-Argon

The following references are the sources used for data regarding this volcano. References are linked directly to our volcano data file. 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. Additional discussion of data sources can be found under Volcano Data Criteria.

de Mulder M, 1985. The Karisimbi volcano. Annales Musee Roy Afrique Central Ser 8 Sci Geol, 90: 1-101.

IAVCEI, 1973-80. Post-Miocene Volcanoes of the World. IAVCEI Data Sheets, Rome: Internatl Assoc Volc Chemistry Earth's Interior..

Krafft M, 1990. Fuhrer zu den Virunga-Vulkanen. Stuttgart: Ferdinand Enke, 187 p.

MacKay M E, Rowland S K, Mouginis-Mark P J, Garbeil H, 1998. Thick lava flows of Karisimbi volcano, Rwanda: insight from SIR-C interferometric topography. Bull Volc, 60: 239-251.

Marcelot G, Rancon J P, Demange J, 1985. The potassic series of Karisimbi volcano (Virunga Range, Rwanda): volcanological and petrological aspects. J Volc Geotherm Res, 26: 99-129.

Pouclet A, 1977. Contribution l'etude structurale de l'aire volcanique des Virunga, rift de l'Afrique centrale. Rev Geog Phys Geol Dynam, 19: 115-124.

Smithsonian Institution-GVN, 1990-. [Monthly event reports]. Bull Global Volc Network, v 15-33.

Karisimbi, the highest of the Virunga volcanoes, is a complex volcano with a symmetrical sharp-peaked summit. The 2-km-wide Branca caldera, located SE of the 4507-m-high summit, is filled by viscous lava flows and two explosion craters. The large, 1.2-km-wide Muntango pit crater is located south of the summit of the basanitic-to-trachytic volcano. A broad lava plain, formed from lava flows erupted within the caldera and along a chain of parasitic cones, extends SW. More than 100 parasitic cones erupted along a NNE-SSW zone that extends to the shores of Lake Kivu. The youngest Potassium-Argon date obtained is about 10,000 years before present (de Mulder, 1985). The youngest eruptions from Karisimbi produced a group of dome-shaped parasitic vents east of the caldera, which fed viscous lava flows that traveled as far as 12 km to the east, and lava flows from the SW-flank satellitic lava vents.