Hazardous crater lakes studied



Crater lakes usually sit on top of volcanic conduits and act as condensers of magmatic vapor. Studies of crater lakes can therefore provide information on both deep magmatic activity and variations in the degassing state of a shallow magmatic body. The Lake Nyos gas disaster of August 1986 and a similar event in August 1984 at Lake Monoun, both in Cameroon, resulted from the accumulation of magmatic CO2 in the bottom layers of the lakes. Geochemical monitoring of crater lakes is a promising tool for forecasting not only limnic but also volcanic eruptions. Acid-mineralized waters formed by condensation of hot magmatic volatiles in crater lakes are thought to bear some resemblance to hydrothermal fluids acting in the genesis of acid-sulfate alteration and Au-Cu-Ag mineralization of volcanic-hosted precious metal deposits.