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Ethiopian Volcano Spews Massive Lava Flow November 7, 2008
Satellite Image
The elliptical caldera of Ethiopia's Erta Ale volcano.
A volcano in Ethiopia's northeastern Afar region was awakened by a swarm of tremors on Monday, and soon produced a lava flow that covered a record 115 square miles (300 square kilometres).

Addis Ababa University's Institute of Geophysics, Space Sciences and Astronomy said the eruption occurred at Erta Ale, which is the country’s only known active volcano.

It is located in the Danakil Depression, one of the lowest and hottest places on the planet, and is known for its salt mines that have been exploited by nomadic traders for thousands of years.

The volcano lies at a triple junction of where the spreading mid-ocean ridges forming the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden emerge on land to meet the East African Rift.

An eruption of Erta Ale in August 2007 killed five people, displaced more than 2,000 others and killed about 1,370 camels and goats.

Photo: Jürg Alean - Smithsonian Global Volcanology Program