African lake harbours trapped CO2 and methane


It’s thought that up to two million people living on the banks of Lake Kivu in central Africa are at risk of being asphyxiated by gases, as CO2 and methane are believed to have built up beneath its surface.

It’s estimated that the lake, which straddles the borders of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda, now contains 300 cubic kilometres of carbon dioxide and 60 cubic kilometres of methane

The gases are thought to have bubbled into the Kivu from volcanic vents, while CO2 sequestration is currently seen by some sources as a possible solution.

Intense water pressures have trapped the gases in layers 80 metres below the lake’s surface, but reports are suggesting that geological or volcanic events could disturb these waters and release the gases – potentially fatally.

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