Erta Ale

Dallol in January-February 2011: Large and colorful ponds

Dallol in January-February 2011: Large and colorful ponds
A long rainy season has caused unusually strong hydrothermal activity at Dallol.
Dallol in January-February 2011: Large and colorful ponds
An older blue pond remains at a level well below the growing and very large green lake.
Dallol in January-February 2011: Large and colorful ponds
A small blue hornito with its hot spring on the top, and two more at its left foot in the green pond.
Dallol in January-February 2011: Large and colorful ponds
Pond evaporation has left these sculptures of salt look like hands reaching out of the green pond.
Dallol in January-February 2011: Large and colorful ponds
Panoramic view of the huge green ponds, with many yellow hot springs rising from its floor.
Dallol in January-February 2011: Large and colorful ponds
Zoom on the strongest hot spring (upper right). In the foreground, ponds of various shades of green.
Dallol in January-February 2011: Large and colorful ponds
Ponds of colors ranging from blue to pale green fill small terraces floating in the main lake.
Dallol in January-February 2011: Large and colorful ponds
Like in a coral reef, yellow ridges of salt rise to the surface of the blue lake.
Dallol in January-February 2011: Large and colorful ponds
Other terraces of white salt reach the surface of deep green ponds.
Dallol in January-February 2011: Large and colorful ponds
Most ponds are divided into regular sectors by tiny ridges of salt.
Dallol in January-February 2011: Large and colorful ponds
A salt hornito (lower right) fills terraces of salty water green of halophile algae.
Dallol in January-February 2011: Large and colorful ponds
Surprisingly regular subdivision into poligonal cells of a green pond.
Dallol in January-February 2011: Large and colorful ponds
The green pond in the foreground (the only one not yet drained) is being covered by a crust of salt.
Dallol in January-February 2011: Large and colorful ponds
Ponds may assume all shades of color from green to purple.
Dallol in January-February 2011: Large and colorful ponds
White and yellow salt ridges are boundaries between different colors.
Dallol in January-February 2011: Large and colorful ponds
Evaporating green ponds among thicker ridges of brown salt.
Dallol in January-February 2011: Large and colorful ponds
Our Afar guide crosses a yellow ridge of salt as if it were a bridge.
Dallol in January-February 2011: Large and colorful ponds
To reach Dallol, our jeeps cross Aasale Lake as if they were ships.
Dallol in January-February 2011: Large and colorful ponds
Crests of salt rise from the lake surface, regularly divided into poligonal cells.
Dallol in January-February 2011: Large and colorful ponds
The first jeep appears as a tiny dot at the horizon of a lake many km wide, but only about ten cm deep.
Photos by Marco Fulle, taken with 16mm fisheye lens, 24-85mm zoom and digital single lens reflex camera.