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Volcanoes of Virunga Mountains and Lake Kivu, Rwanda

1.9S 29.1E

December 11th, 2011 Category: Lakes, Mountains, Volcanoes

Rwanda - December 10th, 2011

This orthorectified image shows Lake Kivu, 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 (western) Rift, a part of the Great Rift Valley.

The lake covers a total surface area of some 2,700 km2 (1,040 sq mi) and stands at a height of 1,460 metres (4,790 ft) above sea level. Some 1 370 km2 or 58% of the lake’s waters lie within DRC borders. The lake bed sits upon a rift valley that is slowly being pulled apart, causing volcanic activity in the area, and making it particularly deep: its maximum depth of 480 m (1,575 ft) is ranked eighteenth in the world. The lake is surrounded by mountains.

Northeast of Lake Kivu are several volcanoes, all of which are part of the Virunga Mountains. Closest to the lake’s shores is Mount Nyiragongo, whose main crater is flanked by two other indentations. It is a stratovolcano that lies just west of the border with Rwanda.

Moving to the right, one can see the Mikeno Volcano, Mount Bisoke and Mount Karisimbi (clockwise from left) grouped together. In the upper right corner is Mount Sabyinyo, an extinct volcano. The summit of the mountain, at 3645 m, marks the intersection of the borders of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, and Uganda.

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