Structural controls on magma pathways in Bora-Baricha-Tullu Moye (BBTM) volcanic system, Main Ethiopian Rift

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Amdemichael Zafu Tadesse
Gemechu Bedassa
Matthieu Kervyn
Ameha Atnafu Muluneh
Snorri Gudbrandsson
Gezahegn Yirgu
Dereje Ayalew
Karen Fontijn


The Bora-Baricha-Tullu Moye (BBTM) volcanic complex is located at a transitional zone in the Main Ethiopian Rift where tectonic and volcanic features show complex interplays. We mapped and characterised volcanic and tectonic features using high-resolution digital elevation models and performed morphometric and vent spatial distribution analyses. Structural analysis reveals NNE–SSW, NE–SW, and NW–SE trending faults in the region. The dominant post-caldera volcanic landforms are lava domes, pumice cones, scoria cones, maars, obsidian coulees and lava flows, which have distinct morphological characteristics. Vent elongation and alignment highlight close association between these landforms and the caldera(s) as well as with tectonic structures, suggesting these structures acted as the main magma pathways during the BBTM recent eruptions. We estimate that during the entire BBTM post-caldera phase a total bulk volume of 10.9 km3 of material was erupted. This would represent a time-averaged magma flux of 0.05 km3 ky-1 in the BBTM.


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How to Cite
Tadesse, A. Z., Bedassa, G., Kervyn, M., Muluneh, A. A., Gudbrandsson, S., Yirgu, G., Ayalew, D. and Fontijn, K. (2023) “Structural controls on magma pathways in Bora-Baricha-Tullu Moye (BBTM) volcanic system, Main Ethiopian Rift”, Volcanica, 6(2), pp. 367–390. doi: 10.30909/vol.06.02.367390.
Author Biographies

Ameha Atnafu Muluneh, School of Earth Sciences, Addis Ababa University (AAU), Ethiopia

Second Affiliation:

Helmohltz-centre Potsdam - GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, Germany

Snorri Gudbrandsson, Reykjavik Geothermal Ltd, Iceland

Second Affiliation:

TM Geothermal Operations PLC, Ethiopia

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Received 2023-01-21
Accepted 2023-08-20
Published 2023-10-05
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