Lake Nyos

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A crater lake in Cameroon which, in 1986, was the site of a massive natural release of CO2 gas from a pocket of magma, which caused the deaths of an estimated 1,700 people and 3,500 livestock. It was the first known large-scale asphyxiation caused by a natural event
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NYOS has always been high on our list, so we are delighted to see the first children make it through.
RAP ARTISTS 3 The gifted Raploch kids joining NYOS, minus Owen Flanagan
Mystery: Greg Tanyileke and George Kling probe the deaths at Lake Nyos.
But Lake Nyos is tropical--its temperature remains constant.
"It's basically an explosion brought under control." Last spring, scientists sank a 200-meter-long pipe into Lake Nyos. Carbonated water from the lake bottom surged up and spewed 50 meters into the air (see diagram, below).
In the meantime the Cameroonian Government is trying to prevent villagers returning to their ancestral lands at Nyos. Around Monoun, however, people have started to resettle very near the lake.
"If these recharge rates continue, the bottom waters of Nyos will become saturated with CO2 in less than 20 years.
Gas accumulates to such dangerous concentrations in Monoun and Nyos because these lakes are naturally stratified into layers that do not mix.
Evans says that finding such a potentspring at the surface lends credence to the possibility that submerged springs are actively supplying Lakes Nyos and Monoun with carbon dioxide.
Both reports warn that Lake Nyos andother Cameroon lakes may still be hazardous.
Scientists from all the nations involved in studying Lake Nyos may be able to compare their data in February or March at a proposed meeting in Cameroon, according to Krumpe.
The scientists think the cloud was mostly carbon dioxide because they found high concentrations of the gas above agitated lake water, as well as high levels of bicarbonate ions in Lake Nyos's bottom waters.