Public Release: 

EARTH: Double trouble

Volcanic eruption leads to strong earthquake 8 months later

American Geosciences Institute

Alexandria, VA - A 2002 eruption of Nyiragongo in the Democratic Republic of the Congo that killed more than 100 people also triggered an earthquake eight months later that shook the town of Kalehe in the Lake Kivu region. EARTH Magazine explores just what happened to better understand a region that is being pulled apart by plate tectonics.

Using remotely sensed radar data, a team from Penn State University has inferred that a 19-kilometer-long dike was emplaced during the eruption. They then calculated how a dike, injecting new material into crust, affected the regional stress fields to ensure that this was more than simply a geologic coincidence.

While the stress field calculations suggests the fault would have been pushed to near failure, the scientists are exploring why it took an extra eight months for the fault to rupture. EARTH Magazine brings you this story, and its complex geology in the June Issue:

The June Issue of EARTH Magazine is now available at, and it is also available as part of the May/June 2016 Double Issue in print. In it, find stories on the most current research being conducted around the globe. This includes stories on what may be America's Most Dangerous Fault, and new evidence to support that the giant coal deposits of the carboniferous had to do with local climate and geology, versus a mysterious lack of fungi. Also, find out how geoscientists help rediscover human graves and a new tsunami record from Alaska. All this, and more in EARTH Magazine.


Keep up to date with the latest happenings in Earth, energy and environment news with EARTH Magazine online at: Published by the American Geosciences Institute, EARTH is your source for the science behind the headlines.

The American Geosciences Institute is a nonprofit federation of geoscientific and professional associations that represents more than 250,000 geologists, geophysicists and other earth scientists. Founded in 1948, AGI provides information services to geoscientists, serves as a voice of shared interests in the profession, plays a major role in strengthening geoscience education, and strives to increase public awareness of the vital role the geosciences play in society's use of resources, resiliency to natural hazards, and interaction with the environment.

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