Exploding Lakes in Cameroon
In 1986, Lake Nyos, in the volcanic region of Cameroon, released a cloud of CO2 into the atmosphere, killing 1,700 people and 3,500 livestock in nearby towns and villages. Since then, engineers have been artificially removing the gas from the lake through piping. This photo shows the Lake Nyos pipe in operation. The 200-meter-long pipe is suspended from the raft and allows gas-rich water from the lake bottom to vent to the surface, where the CO2 dissipates into the atmosphere at a controlled rate. The shed on the control raft is about 6 feet high and the fountain is about 120 feet high. There are no pumps involved because the CO2 drives the fountain, just like a shaken bottle of champagne.