NWDInterestingWhat Is a Limnic Eruption: Read to Know Everything about It! You Will Be Shocked!

What Is a Limnic Eruption: Read to Know Everything about It! You Will Be Shocked!

what is a limnic eruption

To define limnic eruption we can say that it is a physical phenomenon in which gas erupts from the depths of a body of water to the surface and threatens to strangle wild animals, livestock, and people. A limnic eruption is characterized by the chemical composition, mass, and origin of gases, the duration of the release, and the “trigger” of the catastrophe. Such gas emissions can cause tsunamis in the reservoir due to the displacement of water by rising gas. Scientists believe that landslides, earthquakes, and volcanic activity can lead to a limnological catastrophe.

How Is a Limnic Eruption Caused?

Do you want to know what causes eruption and how long does a limnic eruption lasts? A limnological disaster is a rare natural disaster that is a sudden release of a large volume of dissolved carbon dioxide from an open body of water.

Being heavier than air, carbon dioxide collects in low-lying places, including in the vicinity of a reservoir, causing suffocation in people and animals who find themselves there, until after a while (hours, sometimes days) it is scattered by the wind.

A degassing limnic eruption can be caused by an earthquake, an underwater volcanic eruption, large-scale underwater or near-water avalanches, the penetration of lava flows into a reservoir, and other catastrophic events. The emission itself can cause a tsunami in the reservoir if the gas cloud displaces the water in it, which is why the catastrophe is also called “turning the lake”.

The conditions necessary for the occurrence of limnological disasters can be created by the release of carbon dioxide (CO2), injected into deep geological strata for long-term storage. Gas entering open water bodies can be of magmatic (Nyos and Monun), biogenic (Kivu), or technogenic (pumped for long-term storage) origin.

One More Limnic Eruption Meaning

define limnic eruption

A limnological catastrophe is a physical phenomenon, a mandatory component of which is destructive for people and gas emissions from an open reservoir. Limnological characteristics of the chemical composition, mass, and origin of gases, the continuation of the gas release, the “descent mechanism” of the catastrophe.

Where Is It?

To date, two lacustrine limnological disasters have been registered:

  1. 15 August 1984 at Lake Manun, which killed 37 people;
  2. 21 August 1986 on Lake Nyos, which killed 1,700.

The trigger of a limnological catastrophe is characterized by composition, the arrangement of constituent parts, and mass transfer. Limnological catastrophes can be triggered in various combinations:

  • the waters of the reservoir, characterized by large gradients of temperature, mass, and concentration of dissolved substances;
  • earthquake;
  • ball;
  • landslide;
  • wind;
  • precipitation;
  • underground geological structures.

Positive and Negative Effects of Limnic Eruption

limnic eruption

A typical example of a limnological catastrophe is presented by the catastrophes in Cameroon:

August 15, 1984, at Lake Manun, which killed 37 people.

On August 21, 1986, on Lake Nyos, which killed 1,746 people and about 3,500 head of livestock. The conditions necessary for the occurrence of limnological disasters exist not only in the lakes of Cameroon but also in other open bodies of water on our planet, for example:

  • on Lake Kivu in East Africa;
  • in lakes near Mammoth Mountain in the USA;
  • in Lake Masyu in Japan;
  • in maar Eifel in Germany;
  • in Lake Pavin in France;


Blocking the triggering mechanism prevents a limnological catastrophe.

The way to block the activation of the “trigger” can be:

  • strengthening the banks of the reservoir;
  • degassing of reservoir waters;
  • an increase or decrease in the water level in the reservoir;
  • pumping (or pumping out) water and aqueous solutions into the confined aquifer;
  • impregnation of solid sediment under the bottom of the reservoir with waterproof substances;
  • introduction into geological structures of microorganisms, whose waste products reduce the porosity of geological structures.


Natural disasters of a hydrological nature are destructive and sometimes unpredictable. Knowledge of the causes and nature of natural disasters allows, with early adoption of protective measures, with reasonable behavior of the population, to significantly reduce all types of losses. Thus, efforts are needed not only by special rescue services to save people, but also the citizens themselves, who are in the disaster zone, in order to save themselves and their loved ones. Take action, do not panic.

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