Ol Doinyo Lengai Facts
- Ol Doinyo Lengai ranks as one of the most unusual volcanoes on earth and also possesses extremely unusual attributes.
- These make it the only one of its type on earth. It also constitutes the only active volcano in its region.
- Moreover, eruptions occur rather frequently, though they usually remain minor. The last eruption of significance was in 1998.
- The qualities of its lava are extraordinary, producing a profoundly positive impact on the surrounding environment.
- It is both unique and helpful, which surprises many. This geological marvel serves as a true masterpiece of Nature.
Ol Doinyo Lengai Geological Distinctiveness
Most remarkably, Ol Doinyo Lengai has been classified as a Carbonatite Volcano. This makes it the only active volcano of its type known to man.
The lava of this stratovolcano also has an extraordinarily low silica content. Its composition consists of more than 50% carbonate, even though this compound rarely appears on the earth’s surface.
By and large, its carbonate is primarily composed of sodium and potassium. This combination is unknown in any other volcano.
In addition, the uniquely formed molten rock actually turns white in color and does it quite rapidly. Incidentally, the viscosity of the lava is incredibly low, and can sometimes be seen to froth like ocean waves as it emerges.
Ol Doinyo Lengai Ecological Importance
This mountain also forms an integral part of the East African Rift Valley. The composition of its flows is unique, and as a result, it has had a profound impact on the local ecosystem.
Its unique lava actually breaks down quickly when it rains. The resulting runoff has helped lead to the remarkable verdure of the region.
Ol Doinyo Lengai is also quite important to research. Carbonatite, which it produces, is invaluable to the study of rare earth elements. This site is the only actively producing source of these elements.