Lake Bogoria Volcano, Kenya | John Seach



0.244 N, 36.090 E
summit elevation 2278 m
Shield volcano

Lake Bogoria is a located in the northern Kenyan Rift Valley. The lake is famous for the pink flamingoes which are found in large numbers. Geothermal activity in the form of hot springs and geysers are located on the western shore. Lake Bogoria has the largest number of geysers in Africa.

Lake Bogoria photos by John Seach

pink flamingos
Pink flamingos at Lake Bogoria 2008

Pink flamingos and geyser at Lake Bogoria volcano, Kenya

lake bogoria kenya
Lake Bogoria, Kenya

 lake bogoria, kenya
Hydrothermal activity on the shore of Lake Bogoria, Kenya

lake bogoria volcano kenya
Lake Bogoria volcano, Kenya

Flamingos at Lake Bogoria, Kenya

pink flamingo lake bogoria kenya
Flamingos on the shore of Lake Bogoria, Kenya 2008

pink flaningo, kenya
Flamingos feeding next to fumarole, Lake Bogoria, Kenya

Lake Bogoria is possibly the most interesting of the Kenyan Rift Valley lakes. The lake is 17 x 3.5 km, and occupies a narrow, asymmetric half-graben within the rift
floor. Bogoria Escarpment rises 700 m on the eastern side of the lake. A magnitude 7.0 earthquake occurred at the lake in 1828.

Water in the Lake Bogoria derives from rainfall on the lake surface (750 mm/ yr), about 200 hot springs, and streams which feed into the lake. There is no surface outflow from the lake, and most water is lost by evaporation (2600 mm/ yr), resulting in salinity more than twice that of seawater.

Lake Chemistry
The water contains sodium, carbonate and bicarbonate ions, with a pH of 9.5 to 10.5. The lake chemically stratified, even though it has a depth of only 12 m. The surface layer has a salinity of 60 g/l TDS, and the bottom layer of brine with a salinity of about 90 g/l TDS.

The surface water is periodically oxygenated by dilute inflow, whereas the bottom waters remain anoxic. More than a million flamingoes have been
recorded on the 36 sq km lake.

1928 Earthquake
The largest earthquake in the Kenyan Rift (magnitude 6.0) occurred 25 km from Lake Bogoria.

Geothermal Activity
Lake Bogoria has the most spectacular geothermal activity in Kenya. Most springs occur along fault lines. Many boil constantly, and some show periodic geyser-like eruptions. The spring waters are sodium bicarbonate, with total dissolved solids of 26 g/L TDS, and pH of 7.1 to 9.9. The fumaroles discharge steam, C02, and minor H2S and CH4.

Rift Valley Lakes of Kenya

Lake Magadi Lake Bogoria
Lake Naivasha Lake Baringo
Lake Elementeita Lake Logipi
Lake Nakuru Lake Turkana


Further reading
McCall, J., 2010. Lake Bogoria, Kenya: Hot and warm springs, geysers and Holocene stromatolites. Earth-Science Reviews103(1-2), pp.71-79.

RENAUT, R.W. and TIERCELIN, J.J., 1993. Lake Bogoria, Kenya: soda, hot springs and about a million flamingoes. Geology Today9(2), pp.56-61.

Renaut, R.W. and Owen, R.B., 1988. Opaline cherts associated with sublacustrine hydrothermal springs at Lake Bogoria, Kenya Rift Valley. Geology16(8), pp.699-702.

Lake Bogoria Volcano Eruptions

Geothermal activity