Ol Doinyo Lengai

I have a Volcanology class this semester. Thus far it’s been pretty cool. We’ll go to the St. Francois Mountains later this semester, and it doesn’t seem to be that heavy of a course load for the class. The only thing of real importance is the 10-15 page term paper due at the end. We were given a list of topics to choose from and I haven’t decided what I wish to do yet so I’m just reading up on different ones.

One of the topics is Ol Doinyo Lengai in Tanzania, Africa. Most of the topics on the list are on there because of some sort of interesting property about it. There are a handful of volcano’s on the list, but most of the rest of them are more general topics of interest or extra-terrestrial things.

What is interesting about this volcano is that it’s magma is of a composition that isn’t very common to most volcanoes. It’s lava is natrocarbonitic in nature, meaning it is a volcanic source for the mineral carbonatite. As most lavas are very silica rich, this is kind of cool and unique. Not having much experience with carbonate minerals, this might be an interesting topic to tackle.

This makeup of these lava flows result in unique properties for the lava, including how it flows and looks. It seems pretty neat.

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