Lake-level rise in the late Pleistocene and active subaquatic volcanism since the Holocene in Lake Kivu; East African Rift
Earth and related Environmental sciences
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The history of Lake Kivu is strongly linked to the activity of the Virunga volcanoes. Subaerial and subaquatic volcanoes, in addition to lake-level changes, shape the subaquatic morphologic and structural features in Lake Kivu's Main Basin. Previous studies revealed that volcanic eruptions blocked the former outlet of the lake to the north in the late Pleistocene, leading to a substantial rise in the lake level and subsequently the present-day thermohaline stratification. Additional studies have speculated that volcanic and seismic activities threaten to trigger a catastrophic release of the large amount of gases dissolved in the lake. The current study presents a bathymetric mapping and seismic profiling survey that covers the volcanically active area of the Main Basin at a resolution that is unprecedented for Lake Kivu. New geomorphologic features identified on the lake floor can accurately describe related lake-floor processes for the first time. The late Pleistocene lowstand is observed at 425 m depth, and volcanic cones, tuff rings, and lava flows observed above this level indicate both subaerial and subaquatic volcanic activities during the Holocene. The geomorphologic analysis yields new implications on the geologic processes that have shaped Lake Kivu's basin, and the presence of young volcanic features can be linked to the possibility of a lake overturn.
CitationRoss, K.A.; Smets, B.; De Batist, M.; hilbe, M.; Schmid, M.; Anselmetti, F.S. (2014). Lake-level rise in the late Pleistocene and active subaquatic volcanism since the Holocene in Lake Kivu; East African Rift. , Geomorphology, Vol. 221, 274 285, ELSEVIER, DOI: 10.1016/j.geomorph.2014.05.010.