Way into the Danakil Depression
Incessantly downhill the new street from Mekele took us into
the Danakil desert. By
entering the arid zone not only the flora did increased
rapidly, also our tire pressure said good-bye. But this problem was fixed very fast and we headed toward
A rare sight: The Danakil
dessert under water. Even our driver who visited this area
for years could not remember himself, about such a covering
dimension of water.
Preceded strong rainfalls in the mountain regions led the
water into the salt plain. Thus the entire open salt mining
stood nearly completely under water (ca.10-20cm). But this
special circumstance didn’t detained the workers from their
In the further process we thwarted again drier areas. During
the passage we were involved into a marvellous salt-mud
battle. Well, our vehicles grubbed themselves through the
slimy underground and reached at the end the droughty base of the Dallol volcano
lain somewhat more highly.
Colors of Dallol
visit of the Dallol area is only possible with an
accompaniment by the Ethiopian military. One reason was,
that three years before a French jeep was attacked and fired
by’dessert pirates'. Now the government reacted with the
counteraction, to accompany the visitors with armed
soldiers. This military support enfold four well armed
soldiers which appeared very friendly and obliging. Since
this escort is existing no attacks are known, and compared
to 2008 my safety feeling increased substantially.
At the surface swimming crystallization lenses. Largest
The most coloured landscape on our globe is in the midst of
the Danakil depression
(-120m under the sea level) close to the Eritrean
border.“Normal” colours are rare and you nearly guess that
the neon colour was quite invented here. The colour of
geysers and lakes remembers partial to a stage of a
Techno-Party. The most unusual geothermal zone of the earth
mixes here poison-green with water-blue, yellow lenses and
crystallized flanks, snow-white mini geysers which appear
multicoloured. The iron gives the red rusty patina, and the
sight of the bizarre shaped sinter terraces is supplemented
acoustically by innumerably small gurgling mini geysers.
Right up: Natural colour separation.
On the right a rusty colored pool may, enriched with iron.
Whether a mineral or a biologic
gives this pools the poison green colour is really still
The deposition products contains
different potash salts and sulphur which were pumped up with
50-70C° to the surface. A very high geothermal energy
potential must be the condition, because the anhydrite
must raise between a layer of apprx.1000m.
World famous became this place because of the invention of
the donut form. It is hard to retrace who carried out this
spectacular styling to the rest of the world! A possible
reason was maybe a pre-Christian oral tradition and
sometimes you wonder yourself how thinks can happen like
By leaving the area nevertheless a smaller incident occurred. Richard a 150% Dallol fan didn't want to leave the
geyser field partout. Only with the intervention of the
Ethiopian military the forced return ended successful.
from here to the courageous soldier.
Endless salt-pans, a typical shape
vehicle in the “watered” desert appears rather abandoned.
the most important truck in this area. The military took
the water supply and nearly every morning it came to lively
scenes on the main street of Amedale. Right: On-the-car
jumpers and riding along is
not really welcome.
Break-up to the....
Erta Ale Volcano
impressions. The glowing hole in the midst of the desert
obtained unique impressions
The new land shape
After a dusty ride through the Afar
desert we reached our target
bowl, but the
overflow of the south pit could not be achieved even
practising swearing rituals. But the total change of the
landscape was immense. When 2008 (comparison comes still) a
ca.200m wide hole gaped in the earth, now a lava lake with a
diameter of for instance 40m could be observed. The
entire south pit is now filled up completely and at the
south rim the Pahoehoe lava over-sloshed and flowed out 300m
downwards. This event took place mainly in November 2010.
The North Crater
Back to the South Pit
The now 10-15 meters under the surface situates lava lake
raised mainly in its level, but it remains uncertain how far
the entire pit is only a big locked lava basin. There must be
a sub terrain reservoir, because often
irregularities in the direction of flow and speed could be
observed.(Click to GIF)
In this animation you can see a really fast change like a
shock. Maybe subterranean lava masses got loosen from the
'ceiling' of the thick covering plate, or it was nothing
else like a strong degassing event.
Pattern of the moving lava see. The
videos and Gif-animations in fast motion shows the
drifting of the crust- plates like the tectonic principal
more clearly up.
Wide angle photos of the whole crater
The try to catch the bubbling by photos. The deep
situated outleds made a good contasted exposure very
difficult. Another problem was the enormous heat. Nothing
seems really sharp in the view finder. The strong
scintillation of the air was also nice to observe without tele lenses.
Morning and night photos from the crater
Conan or Canon?
Peles tears and hair garden
rock wool at the edge of the volcano craters. A nice
association- the fine threads look really like
hair roots at the end.
middle: Peles Tears,
an almost obsidian appearance. The green-brown
colouring of the nature glass reminded me also to tektites.
and I hunting for unusual forms of Peles Tears
the jagged shape explains the high silicate portion in the
Oppositional to my hair quantity, plentifull was to be found
at the NO side of the crater. However, only a highly
silicate lava can produce this Peles Hair, which leaves
hair-fine drawing threads. These threads are caused by
spattering of extremely hot
lakes. Here Peles Tears get developed, which are shown
It remembers me to threads in traction out of a
glass. In some cases the developing of the fine 'natural
fibre' already possesses the consistency of cotton wool.
In Hawaii at the Po'o'o crater we discovered
also this phenomenon more sparely. But at the
crater the lava
landscape was wrapped under a green veil in the size of a
May the new town at the rim?
Typical houses, here and in the whole Afar desert
Nessi and the way back. The descent was supported by a
rental camel caravan.
Landscapes of the Afar desert. The badtub far away
Link to the Nyiragongo