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The Volcano Next Door

By Michael Finkel
Images by Carsten Peter/National Geographic

Volume 12, Number 3 | May 2011

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The Volcano Next Door | Image by Carsten PeterWhen? This is the question that has brought two of the world's leading volcano scientists to the center of Africa; it's the question that haunts a team of Congolese seismologists; it's the question that may determine the fate of close to one million people. When will Nyiragongo erupt?

Nyiragongo is a two-mile-high volcano towering over the eastern edge of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)—one of the most active volcanoes on the planet and also one of the least studied.

Clouds of toxic gas and frequent tremors were two of the challenges faced by a team of scientists led by Dario Tedesco and Ken Sims (top right) as they studied Nyiragongo's crater.

To read the full story, please visit: http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2011/04/nyiragongo-volcano/finkel-text.

This story, photos, and more can be found in the April 2011 issue of National Geographic Magazine, on newsstands now!

Ken Sims is an Associate Professor of Geology and Geophysics at the University of Wyoming.

 

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