Field scientist, radio operator
Fred Belton KM4MXD


Fred Belton is a retired university mathematics instructor and former electrical engineer. He has traveled in more than 100 countries and territories and done extensive trekking in many of them. He has made two 3 year “world exploration” trips. He is particularly interested in volcanoes, has climbed around 50 active volcanoes worldwide, and has spent much time exploring volcanic terrain. In 1997 he became focused on Ol Doinyo Lengai in Tanzania, the only volcano that erupts natrocarbonatite lava. In 1999 he assisted a German film team with a television documentary there. From 2000 until the commencement of explosive activity in 2007 Fred organized and led Ol Doinyo Lengai expeditions for scientists, photographers and film teams. Expedition members spent a week at the crater while it was erupting and were able to observe the activity at night, an experience shared by very few people. In conjunction with the expeditions, Fred collected lava samples and worked with a geology graduate student on data collection and research to investigate the possibility of tidal influences on magmatic activity. Fred was originally licensed as WB4YRM, but currently holds KM4MXD.


B.S. Electrical Engineering, University of Tennessee, 1979.
M.S. Mathematics, University of Memphis, 1995.

Prior Employment:

Telecommunications Engineer. Civil Service, US Air Force. 1983-1990.
Mathematics Instructor. Shelby State Community College, College of the Marshall Islands, University of Memphis, and Middle Tennessee State University. 1994-2012.

Selected trekking experience over the past 25 years:

Iceland: Hornstrandir Peninsula 23 day exploration/unsupported trek- Aðalvík to Norðurfjörður.
Iceland: Interior Highland Plateau (across Ódáðahraun south to north) 14 day unsupported trek climbing shield volcanoes and tuyas including Herðubreið.
Iceland: Exploration of Laki fissure area out to Vatnajökull and Skaftá River.
Faroe Islands: coastal exploration.
Corsica: GR-20.
Italian Dolomites: Numerous via ferrata routes.
Tasmania: South Coast Track.
New Zealand: East Matukituki Traverse.
Scotland: 73 “Munros” climbed.
Romania: Făgăraș and Piatra Craiului ridge traverses.
Venezuela: Mt. Roraima.
Texas: Rancherias Loop.
Indonesia: Gunung Tambora.


Mitchell, R. H. and Belton, F. (2008). Cuspidine-sodalite natrocarbonatite from Oldoinyo Lengai, Tanzania: a novel hybrid carbonatite formed by assimilation of ijolite. Mineralogical Magazine,72. (6), 1147-1162.
Kervyn, M., Ernst, G.G.J., Klaudius, J., Keller, J., Kervyn, F.,Mattsson, H.B.M, Belton, F., Mbede. E., Jacobs, P. 2008. Voluminous lava flows at Oldoinyo Lengai in 2006: Chronology of events and insights into the shallow magmatic system. Bulletin of Volcanology. 70: 1069-1086.
Kervyn, M., Ernst, G.G.J., Harris, A., Mbede, E., Belton, F., Jacobs, P. 2008. Thermal remote sensing of the low-intensity carbonatite volcanism of Oldoinyo Lengai, Tanzania. International Journal of Remote Sensing. 29: 6467-6499.
McFarlane, D. A., Lundberg, J., and Belton, F.A. (2004). An Unusual Lava Cave from Ol Doinyo Lengai, Tanzania, Journal of Cave and Karst Studies, 66. (3), 98-101.
Mitchell, R. H. and Belton, F. (2004). Niocalite-Cuspidine Solid Solution and Manganoan Monticellite from Natrocarbonatite, Oldoinyo Lengai, Tanzania, Mineralogical Magazine, 68. (5), 787 – 799.
Frequent contributor of Ol Doinyo Lengai activity reports to Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network.

Selected Presentations:

Gordon, J., Belton, F., Cribb, W., and Henry, J. (October 2005). Influences of Changing Luna Cycle and Barometric Pressure on the Eruption of Natrocarbonatite Lava, Ol Doinyo Lengai Volcano, Tanzania. Poster session presented at the Geological Society of America Annual Meeting, Salt Lake City, Utah.
Ol Doinyo Lengai Natrocarbonatite Volcano. (October 2006) Seminar conducted at Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN.
Caves of Ol Doinyo Lengai Volcano. (June 2006) Slide show presented to the Speleo Club du Liban, Beirut, Lebanon.


Email: or
Mobile: 615-479-1705