A Limnic Eruption Causes A Lake To Explode

Limnic eruptions are also called lake overturns, and they occur due to a buildup of carbon dioxide in the deeper parts of a lake. When the lake is nearly saturated with the gas, a small event could trigger the eruption, sending large waves of water and millions of cubic meters of carbon dioxide into the air. Lake Monoun in Cameroon experienced a limnic eruption in 1984, followed by the nearby Lake Nyos in 1986.

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Key Facts In This Video

  1. The 1986 limnic eruption of Lake Nyos suffocated everything within a 25 km radius, killing more than 1,700 people. 00:11

  2. Most lakes don't experience limnic eruptions because their water circulates with yearly changes in temperature. 01:28

  3. Pipes were installed in Lake Nyos and Lake Monoun to allow the escape of carbon dioxide. 02:27

Written by Curiosity Staff October 7, 2015