Volcanoes are some of the world's most beautiful scenery. They are the only living exemplars of nature spewing out wrath. The discussion becomes all the very interesting talking about the Erta Ale volcano in Ethiopia.
The Erta Ale range is part of the volcanic chain in Ethiopia’s Afar region which contributes to be a major pillar of the east African rift system. Underneath this rift system mother nature dances to the tunes of the Tectonic plates pulling them apart every now and then.
Erta Ale volcano which means smoking mountain in the stands at a height of 600 metres . This volcano also houses a fiery lava lake which is one of only five in the World. Startlingly the name Erta Ale is shared both by the volcano and the mountain range.
Erta Ale volcano has a smoldering lava lake which is burning high since 90 years. According to carbon dating records the existence of this volcano is proved since 1600's but the lava lake was discovered only in 1960's.
Erta Ale is geologically efficacious which means it is the conglomerating point of three “rift zones”. Apart from nestling several volcanoes this place is adorned with innumerable hot springs and incredible salt lakes which have astonishing therapeutic value. It also earns the eminence of being the longest existing lava lake since the early years of the twentieth century.
The Erta Ale volcano is engulfed by an area below sea level indeed making it one of the lowest volcanoes in the world. This proves it to be accessible enough for humans. Just below the Erta Ale lies the strikingly blue lake Afrera, which contains at least 290 million tonnes of salt. Astonishing but true!
This region reckons itself to red hot claim of fame as one of the hottest place on the Earth in terms of yearly average temperature.
It was hard to find the existence of even sparse population in this place as living here is thought to be a perilous premise. A massive eruption here in 2005 extirpated thousands of livestock and forced villages to be relinquished.
Another panorama of devastation in this area started in the early November 2008 in the form of volcanic eruption spewing out a capacious lava flow. Therefore, this crater lake is known as the “gateway to hell”. But the area sees the beelining of geologists, researchers and visitors for its mysterious existence.
Tourism in the area has increased significantly and visitors including photographers arrive in this place almost on daily basis. This is in sharp contrast to the year 2002 when the area was only accessible via an aerial view in a helicopter. As per data in present conditions one can drive to within 7kms west of the mountain of the Erta Ale and then the mount could be reached on foot in less than 3 hours.
Adding laurels to it, are the local Afar tribesmen helping transport materials and even helping tourists reaching the summit via camel riding .
Recently a team of BBC team mapped the Erta Ale Volcano lake using the laser techniques. They found out something very much astonishing. These types of volcanoes are very rare on Earth and have soaring high temperatures with the main pit crater being 200m deep and 350 meter wide.
Another fact which bewilders us is the Erta Ale volcano has synonymous features to that of the Hawaiian volcanoes of Kilauea and Mauna Loa. Believe it