DALLOL: The salt lake
The Dallol area was visited on 20./21.2.2002. A brief «expedition» was undertaken by Jürg Alean, Roberto Carniel, Marco Fulle and
Heidera to the canyons entrenched in the salt plateau northwest of the hot springs area. We also briefly visited the ghost town where,
in the 1930's, potassium salt was mined by an Italian company.
The red salts near Dallol (foreground) contrast with the whitish salt deposits farther away.
The canyonlands of Dallol as seen from the air prior to landing at Dallol.
Reddish minerals stain this section of the salt lake southeast from Dallol.
The mighty Mi-8 helicopter has dropped us at Dallol and, departing, causes a sandstorm.
Rock salt and anhydrite layers in an isolated tower carved out by erosion.
Globalization, Dallol style: American bottle, probably dropped by Italian worker some 70 years ago, recorded by Swiss photographer in 2002...
Many buildings in the Italian mining camp were made from salt blocks. The walls, left to decay, now lean outwards before they will, eventually, collapse.
Fiat in the Danakil depression! This vehicle has come to its end after what must have been a long and arduous journey.
The trip to the canyons, despite relatively short distances, was rather tough, as we were climbing around in temperatures of more than 40° Celsius.
Polygons have formed on the salt lake. Recently there must have been standing water, as the surface was soft and muddy. Walking on it was out of the question.
Heidera is resting in the shade of one of the towers which is composed of layers of salt (lower part) and probably anhydrite (top).
Salt islands on the shore of a sea of salt seen from a viewpoint on a mountain of salt...
Rare but probably intensive downpours have eroded deep canyons into the salt deposits.
A landscape so weird that it seems to be right out of one of those fantastic worlds of Stanislav Lem.
Delicate spires of crystalline rock salt under the last rays of the evening sun.
Complex mini relief of mud cracks, eroded mud cracks and traces of erosion due to (rare) rains.