The potential for catastrophic dam failure at Lake Nyos maar, Cameroon

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Authors:Lockwood, J. P.; Costa, J. E.; Tuttle, M. L.; Nni, J.; Tebor, S. G.
Author Affiliations:Primary:
U. S. Geol. Surv., Hawaiian Obs., Honolulu, HI 96718, United States
Cent. Rech. Céwe. Minières; CMR
Volume Title:Bulletin of Volcanology
Source:for the [Bulletin of Volcanology, 50(5), p.340-349. Publisher: Springer International] International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior (IAVCEI), Heidelberg, International. ISSN: 0258-8900
Publication Date:1988
Note:In English. 19 refs.; illus. incl. 1 table, sect., geol. sketch map
Summary:The upper 40 m of Lake Nyos is bounded on the north by a narrow natural dam of poorly consolidated pyroclastic rocks, emplaced during the eruptive formation of the maar a few hundred years ago. This 50 m wide dam is structurally weak and is being rapidly eroded. The eventual failure of the dam could cause a major flood (estimated peak discharge, 17 000 m3/s) that could have a tragic impact downstream as far as Nigeria, 108 km away. This hazard could be eliminated by lowering the lake level by controlled removal of the dam or by construction of a 680 m-long drainage tunnel approx 65m below the present lake surface. Either approach would lessen the lethal effects of future massive CO2 releases such as the one that occurred in August 1986. [R.A.H.]
Subjects:Cenozoic; Engineering geology; Geologic hazards; Geomorphology; Holocene; Igneous rocks; Maars; Preventive measures; Pyroclastics; Quaternary; Volcanic features; Volcanic rocks; Africa; Cameroon; Lake Nyos; West Africa
Abstract Numbers:89M/2449
Record ID:1989059073
Copyright Information:GeoRef, Copyright 2019 American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from Mineralogical Abstracts, United Kingdom, Twickenham, United Kingdom, Reference includes data from Geoline, Bundesanstalt fur Geowissenschaften und Rohstoffe
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