Stunning Electric-Blue Flames Erupt From Volcanoe – For several year Paris based photographer Olivier Grunewald has been documenting the Kawah Ijen volcano in Indonesia, where brilliant, electric blue ardour can often be seen streaming down the mountain at night.
“This blue glow unusual for a volcano isnt, of course, lava, as regrettably can be read on numerous websites”, Grunewald told National Geographic in an email about Kawah Ijen, a volcano on small island developing of Java.
The glow is actually the ignite from the combustion of sulfuric gases, Grunewald explained.
Those gases emerge from fissures in the volcano at high pressure and temperature up to 1,112 degF (600 degC). When they come in contact with the aura, they kindle, routing sparks up to 16 feet (5 meters) high.
Some of the gases abbreviate into liquid sulfur, “which continues to burn as it spurts down the downgrades,” announced Grunewald, “presenting the sentiments of lava flowing”.
Cynthia Werner, studies and research geologist with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) at the Alaska Volcano Observatory, told National Geographic that Grunewald’s photos prove an uncommon phenomenon.
“I’ve never seen this much sulfur flowing at a volcanoe”, she said.
Werner noted that forest barrages in Yellowstone National Park have caused similar “rivers”, as heat from the flames defrosted the sulfur around hydrothermal vents.
“When you go to Yellowstone, you can see their finds as black texts”, she said.
According to Werner, it’s relatively common to find molten sulfur around volcanic fumaroles (hot volcanoes). The mineral has a relatively low freezing point of 239 degF (115 degC), and the temperature at the hot volcanoes often outperforms that.
Blue volcanic ardour was described in relic in Italy on the south slope of Mount Vesuvius and on small island developing of Vulcano, Grunewald said.
“Blue flames may also be observed at the basis of the plume of explosion volcanoes, when ash explosions occur”, he added.
Grunewald did not use any filters to captivate his images of the blue ardour. The burning happens day and night, but it’s observable simply in darkness.
Kawah Ijen volcano is the subject of a new film released earlier this month that was produced by Grunewald and Regis Etienne, the president of Geneva Society of Volcanology.
Kawah Ijen Crater Lake, at the top of the volcano, is the world’s largest such body of water filled with hydrochloric acid. In detail, it’s the acid that impels the spray green.
Werner explained how the pond became so acidic : The volcano emitted hydrogen chloride gas, which reacted with the spray and structured a highly compressed hydrochloric acid with a pH of nearly 0.
The lake has a volume of 1.3 billion cubic feet (36 million cubic meters), or about 1/320 of the publication of Oregon’s Crater Lake.
As the burning gases cool, they deposit sulfur around the lake.
To speed up the formation of the mineral, a mining firm set ceramic pipes on an active vent near the edge of the pond, announced John Pallister, a USGS geologist who has studied the volcano.
The pipes street the sulfur gases down the vent’s ascent hammock. When the gases cool, they abbreviate into liquid sulfur, which then spurts or drips from the pipes and solidifies into hard sulfur mats.
After the solid sulfur chills, the miners break it up and carry it off the mountain on their backs.
“I have also recognized the miners spraying spray from a small run onto the pipes to promote cooling and condensation”, anounced Pallister via email. “Sulfur stalactites sometimes form from the liquid sulfur dripping from the pipes. These are collected and sold to sightseers”.
Pallister supplemented, “I have been told that the miners sometimes kindle the sulfur and/or sulfur gases to make the blue sparks that are so foremost in nighttime photographs”.
Miners have been removing sulfur now for more than 40 times. At experiences they work at night under the strange blue blooded ignite to escape the heat of the sun, and to earn extra income, Grunewald said.
The miners sell the sulfur for about 600 Indonesian rupiah per kilo (less than 25 U.S. cents a pound), announced Grunewald. They can carry ladens of 176 to 220 pounds (80 to 100 kilos) once a day or twice if they work into the night.
When Grunewald photograph Kawah Ijen, he wears a gas mask as protection against poison gases, including sulfur dioxide. “It is impossible to stay a long time close to a dense acid gas without a concealment”, he said.
Pallister described the miners’ daily programme as “hard role”. He has recognized many of them using simply soaking cloths as gas masks.
Some of the miners do have gas masks that guests have given them, announced Grunewald, but they “have no coin and no opportunity to change the filter”.
“I feel bad for these mi”, Werner announced. When she and her collaborators work in Indonesia, “we typically create gas masks and leave them there with the person or persons we work with, because sometimes they don’t know that what they are breathing is harmful”.
Grunewald has alsoe documented the blue radiate on the Dallol volcano in the Danakil Depression, in the Afar region of Ethiopia to the borders of Eritrea and Djibouti.
The heat of magma sometimes ignites the sulfur junk in the grunge, modelling sparks of electrical blue.
“It is very rare to see that”, announced Grunewald. “The pulverize of sulfur could burn for a few periods”.
The depression is geologically active, with hydrothermal volcanoes and sulfur springtimes, some of which are tourist attractions.
The Afar region is famous for having the world’s highest high temperatures of 93 degF (34 degC), thanks in part to the volcanic activity.