The Fascinating Lava Lake in Ethiopia


Erta Ale is a continuously active basaltic shield volcano in the Afar Region of northeastern Ethiopia. It is the most active volcano in Ethiopia. Erta Ale is 613 metres (2,011 ft) high, with one or sometimes two active lava lakes, one of only five in the world, at the summit. These lava lakes occasionally overflow on the south side of Erta Ale.[1] It is notable for being the longest existing lava lake, present since the early years of the twentieth century (1906). It is located in the Afar Depression, a badlandish desert area spanning the border with Eritrea, and the volcano itself is surrounded completely by an area below sea level, making it one of the lowest volcanoes in the world.

Erta Ale’s last major eruption was on September 25, 2005, which killed 250 head of livestock and forced thousands of nearby residents to flee. Additional lava flow activity took place in August 2007, forcing the evacuation of hundreds and leaving two missing. Not much is known about Erta Ale, as the surrounding terrain is some of the worst on earth and the native Danakils are not friendly.

The name of the volcano means “smoking mountain” in the local Afar language and its southerly pit is known locally as “the gateway to hell”. It has recently been mapped by a team from the BBC using three dimensional laser techniques. These types of volcanoes are very rare and have searingly hot temperatures. For that reason the laser was used, as it has the capability to map any surface. Read more at wikipedia and sverop .


















Photos source : volcanosdiscovery

10 Responses to “The Fascinating Lava Lake in Ethiopia”

  1. This is a fascinating article. The photos are tremendously expressive. I am very impressed with it all.

  2. Amanuel Abreham says:

    Amazing an beautiful palace.I wish i can see it but the place is very difficult to access.

  3. setho says:

    theres the problem with global warming right there!! forget cap n trade and taxin me out the a** for breathing. ice that s**** down and we can all drive suv’s!

  4. David Kirba says:

    Must go here someday. Never been to the Afar.

  5. Almon says:

    @setho: Volcanoes produce insignificant amounts of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. However, the ash clouds from some volcanic eruptions block out the sun which reduces global temperatures which has the opposite effect of contributing to global warming.

  6. graffiti says:

    this place looks stunning, one day i’ll go! hopefully…

  7. Wow. Awesome photos! Would love to see that in person some day.

  8. WTF says:

    This is the most miserable place in the world. You bake, specially if you are white, under the Afar sky. It aint a fun place.

  9. Flitz says:

    Wow. fascinating. awesome photos. everything is wonderful,

  10. Elizabeth Negussie says:

    what a beautiful and amazing pic!!!!!

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