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Nyamulagira, located in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo on the western branch of the East African rift, is Africa’s most active volcano, with an average of one eruption every 3 years since 1938. Owing to the socio-economical context of that region, the volcano lacks ground-based geodetic measurements but has been monitored by interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) since 1996. A combination of 3D Mixed Boundary Element Method and inverse modelling, taking into account topography and source interactions, is used to interpret InSAR ground displacements associated with eruptive activity in 1996, 2002, 2004, 2006 and 2010. These eruptions can be fitted by models incorporating dyke intrusions, and some (namely the 2006 and 2010 eruptions) require a magma reservoir beneath the summit caldera. We investigate inter-eruptive deformation with a multi-temporal InSAR approach. We propose the following magma plumbing system at Nyamulagira by integrating numerical deformation models with other available data: a deep reservoir (c. 25 km depth) feeds a shallower reservoir (c. 4 km depth); proximal eruptions are fed from the shallow reservoir through dykes while distal eruptions can be fed directly from the deep reservoir. A dyke-like conduit is also present beneath the upper southeastern flank of Nyamulagira.

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