National Research Program
Volcanic Gas Hazards
Mammoth Mountain, Calif. and Cameroon
[An area of Mammoth Mountain where carbon dioxide was found to have suffocated tree roots.]
Another situation of carbon dioxide release occurred in the 1980's in Cameroon. More than 1500 people were killed when dissolved carbon dioxide that had accumulated in high concentrations at the bottom of two lakes was suddenly released into the atmosphere. USGS scientists were asked to help with the investigation of the Cameroon lakes and have been involved in efforts to avoid another catastrophe through controlled degassing of the lakes.
For additional information about the potential hazard at Mammoth Mountain, see the USGS fact sheet, Invisible CO2 gas killing trees at Mammoth Mountain, California; for information about efforts controlled degassing in Cameroon see Kling, G. W., Evans, W.C., Tanyileke, G., Kusakabe, M., Ohba, T., Yoshida, Y., and Hell, J. V., 2005, Degassing Lakes Nyos and Monoun Defusing certain disaster: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, v. 102, p. 14,185-14,190; or contact:William C. Evans firstname.lastname@example.org, U.S. Geological Survey, 345 Middlefield Rd, MS439, Menlo Park, CA 94025