Ol Doinyo Lengai

Video page: the paroxysm begins 27 July 2001

On 27 July 2001 Ol Doinyo Lengai produced spectacular eruptive activity, which we define paroxysmal as it was never observed or documented before. As we have seen other deposits in the crater that may have been emplaced by similar processes, we do not exclude that such paroxysmal phases can happen every few months. This page shows the activity at the beginning of the paroxysm, most of it seen from a very close distance. All videos were recorded on 27 July, between 14:43 and 14:50 local time by Roberto Carniel (400 KB to 1.3 MB). Digital Video and miniDV tapes may be requested for broadcast or documentary purposes.

Video page: the paroxysm begins 27 July 2001
At the beginning the hornito is spraying a very modest quantity of lava from a small opening. 400 KB
Video page: the paroxysm begins 27 July 2001
However, zooming on the opening the show is already spectacular, although severely influenced by the MPEG compression. The filesize is therefore 1.3 MB.
Video page: the paroxysm begins 27 July 2001
Another hornito, very close to the first one, starts erupting from its top. Now the doubts start: what should we film? ;-) 600 KB
Video page: the paroxysm begins 27 July 2001
Lava is very fluid. At the top the appearance is hawaiian, but as it drops and cools down it looks like oil... 900 KB
Video page: the paroxysm begins 27 July 2001
On the other side, the drops falling from the spray coalesce into a rootless lava flow. 600 KB
Video page: the paroxysm begins 27 July 2001
In a few minutes the spray gets stronger and stronger. As the pressure increases the opening widens. 600 KB
Video page: the paroxysm begins 27 July 2001
Now the stream is almost continuous, and the intensity continues to increase. Compare it to the first video! 500 KB
Video page: the paroxysm begins 27 July 2001
This can be seen better by zooming on the vent and following the trajectory of the lava drops in the sky. As the spray widens, incandescent lava drops start falling on us.... 900 KB
Video page: the paroxysm begins 27 July 2001
....and it's time to move! In this wider angle view, our previous position can be seen on the right side of the frame. Fred remains "enchanted" for the last minute. 800 KB