Carbon Dioxide Spitting Lakes



Carbon-di-oxide spitting lakes: there are three crater lakes – Nyos, Monoun, and Kivu, that sit in Cameroon and on the border of Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. These lakes spit carbon dioxide at an enormous level and have been the cause of deaths of hundreds of people in the past. This phenomenon happens because of the presence of magma below the surface of the lakes and this magma releases carbon dioxide into the water which causes the resulting spewing of the gas into the atmosphere.

limnic eruption, also termed a lake overturn, is a rare type of natural disaster in which dissolved carbon dioxide (CO 2) suddenly erupts from deep lake waters, forming a gas cloud capable of suffocating wildlife, livestock, and humans.

Lake Nyos killed 1700 people.

On the evening of Aug. 21, 1986, farmers living near the lake heard rumbling. At the same time, a frothy spray shot hundreds of feet out of the lake, and a white cloud collected over the water. From the gro­und, the cloud grew to 328 feet (100 meters) tall and flowed across the land. When farmers near the lake left their houses to investigate the noise, they lost consciousness. The CO2 killed directly by shutting off people’s consciousness and breathing. When the CO2 concentration was 15 percent or less, people lost consciousness and later revived. Individuals who inhaled more than 15 percent CO2 stopped breathing in minutes and died.

Lake Monoun

on August 15, 1984 around 10:30 pm several people reported hearing a loud noise, they saw a gas cloud reportedly emanated from a crater in the eastern part of the lake. The resulting deaths of residents in a low-lying area are believed to have occurred between 03:00 and dawn. The victims were said to have skin burns, which reports later clarified as “skin damage” such as discoloration. Survivors reported that the whitish, smoke-like cloud smelled bitter and acidic.

Lake Kivu

Lake Kivu is one of the African Great Lakes. It lies on the border between the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda, and is in the Albertine Rift, the western branch of the East African Rift. This lake has a chance of suffering a limnic eruption every 1000 years.

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