Of over a thousand lakes studied worldwide, about one in ten shows strange behaviour. In general, there is an increasing tendency for aquatic ecosystems to tip over. The ecological stability of lakes is decreasing, especially in...
Of over a thousand lakes studied worldwide, about one in ten shows strange behaviour. In general, there is an increasing tendency for aquatic ecosystems to tip over. The ecological stability of lakes is decreasing, especially in regions with low GDP and large human populations.
Smittarello, D., Smets, B., Barrière, J., Michellier, C., Oth, A., Shreve, T., … Syavulisembo Muhindo, A. (2022). Precursor-free eruption triggered by edifice rupture at Nyiragongo volcano. Nature, 609(7925), 83-88. doi:10.1038/s41586-022-05047-8, Institutional Repository
Classical mechanisms of volcanic eruptions mostly involve pressure buildup and magma ascent towards the surface1. Such processes produce geophysical and geochemical signals that may be detected and interpreted as eruption precursors1,2,3. On 22 May 2021, Mount Nyiragongo (Democratic Republic of the Congo), an open-vent volcano with a persistent lava lake perched within its summit crater, shook up this interpretation by producing an approximately six-hour-long flank eruption without apparent precursors, followed—rather than preceded—by lateral magma motion into the crust. Here we show that this reversed sequence was most likely initiated by a rupture of the edifice, producing deadly lava flows and triggering a voluminous 25-km-long dyke intrusion. The dyke propagated southwards at very shallow depth (less than 500 m) underneath the cities of Goma (Democratic Republic of the Congo) and Gisenyi (Rwanda), as well as Lake Kivu. This volcanic crisis raises new questions about the mechanisms controlling such eruptions and the possibility of facing substantially more hazardous events, such as effusions within densely urbanized areas, phreato-magmatism or a limnic eruption from the gas-rich Lake Kivu. It also more generally highlights the challenges faced with open-vent volcanoes for monitoring, early detection and risk management when a significant volume of magma is stored close to the surface.
Moshi, H. A., Kimirei, I., Shilla, D., O’Reilly, C., Wehrli, B., Ehrenfels, B., & Loiselle, S. (2022). Citizen scientist monitoring accurately reveals nutrient pollution dynamics in Lake Tanganyika coastal waters. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 194(10), 689 (18 pp.). doi:10.1007/s10661-022-10354-8, Institutional Repository
Several studies in Lake Tanganyika have effectively employed traditional methods to explore changes in water quality in open waters; however, coastal monitoring has been restricted and sporadic, relying on costly sample and analytical methods that require skilled technical staff. This study aims in validating citizen science water quality collected data (nitrate, phosphate and turbidity) with those collected and measured by professional scientists in the laboratory. A second objective of the study is to use citizen scientist data to identify the patterns of seasonal and spatial variations in nutrient conditions and forecast potential changes based on expected changes in population and climate (to 2050). The results showed that the concentrations of nitrate and phosphate measured by citizen scientists nearly matched those established by professional scientists, with overall accuracy of 91% and 74%, respectively. For total suspended solids measured by professional and turbidity measured by citizen scientists, results show that, using 14 NTU as a cut-off, citizen scientist measurements of Secchi tube depth to identify lake TSS below 7.0 mg/L showed an accuracy of 88%. In both laboratory and citizen scientist-based studies, all measured water quality variables were significantly higher during the wet season compared to the dry season. Climate factors were discovered to have a major impact on the likelihood of exceeding water quality restrictions in the next decades (2050), which could deteriorate lake conditions. Upscaling citizen science to more communities on the lake and other African Great Lakes would raise environmental awareness, inform management and mitigation activities, and aid long-term decision-making.