Meru Volcano | John Seach



3.25 S, 36.75 E
summit elevation 4565 m

Mt Meru is a large volcano with a caldera and cone located in northern Tanzania near Arusha. It is Africa's fourth highest mountain and has a classic stratovolcano shape. Meru is located 50 km west of Kilimanjaro. Black lava has flowed from the cone for a distance of three miles. The volcanic cone has a diameter of 25 km.

Meru Volcano - John Seach

2015 Wildfires
Wildfires on Mt Meru volcano produced smoke cloud in September 2015. The volcano was not erupting.

2008 snow falls
On 6th February 2008 snow fell on the summit of Mt Meru for the first time in decades. The mountain lost its glacier in the late 1960's.

1910 Eruption
A minor eruption occurred at Mt Meru in 1910.

Formation of the Ash Cone and its associated lava dome and flows in the caldera is younger than 7800 years. The main cone of the volcano has a caldera which is 3.5 km in diameter. It has a large breach on its eastern side.

Avalanche 7800 years ago
About 7800 years ago the east side of Meru and its crater collapsed creating lahars which extended eastwards to Kilimanjaro. These catastrophic events were connected with the plinian eruption of thick ashes that covers much of the volcano, especially to the west.

Main cone building eruptions
The main cone of Meru was built between 160,000 and 60,000 years ago. Summit volcanic activity at Meru began 74,000 years ago and continued for 20,000 years.

Earliest activity
The earliest volcanic activity occurred at west Meru plateau 1.5 million years ago. The total extent of the eruption is obscured by later ash and lahar deposits. About 100 m is exposed, and may be up to 700 m deep.

Further reading
Delcamp, A., Kervyn, M., Benbakkar, M., Kwelwa, S. and Peter, D., 2017. Large volcanic landslide and debris avalanche deposit at Meru, Tanzania. Landslides14(3), pp.833-847.

Dawson, J.B., 1964. Carbonatitic volcanic ashes in northern Tanganyika. Bulletin Volcanologique27(1), pp.81-91.

Meru Volcano Eruptions

1910, 1886?, 1878, 5850 BC