Erta Ale

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.

DALLOL: The salt lake
The red salts near Dallol (foreground) contrast with the whitish salt deposits farther away.
DALLOL: The salt lake
The canyonlands of Dallol as seen from the air prior to landing at Dallol.
DALLOL: The salt lake
Reddish minerals stain this section of the salt lake southeast from Dallol.
DALLOL: The salt lake
The mighty Mi-8 helicopter has dropped us at Dallol and, departing, causes a sandstorm.
DALLOL: The salt lake
Rock salt and anhydrite layers in an isolated tower carved out by erosion.
DALLOL: The salt lake
Globalization, Dallol style: American bottle, probably dropped by Italian worker some 70 years ago, recorded by Swiss photographer in 2002...
DALLOL: The salt lake
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.
DALLOL: The salt lake
Fiat in the Danakil depression! This vehicle has come to its end after what must have been a long and arduous journey.
DALLOL: The salt lake
The trip to the canyons, despite relatively short distances, was rather tough, as we were climbing around in temperatures of more than 40° Celsius.
DALLOL: The salt lake
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.
DALLOL: The salt lake
Heidera is resting in the shade of one of the towers which is composed of layers of salt (lower part) and probably anhydrite (top).
DALLOL: The salt lake
Salt islands on the shore of a sea of salt seen from a viewpoint on a mountain of salt...
DALLOL: The salt lake
Rare but probably intensive downpours have eroded deep canyons into the salt deposits.
DALLOL: The salt lake
A landscape so weird that it seems to be right out of one of those fantastic worlds of Stanislav Lem.
DALLOL: The salt lake
Delicate spires of crystalline rock salt under the last rays of the evening sun.
DALLOL: The salt lake
Complex mini relief of mud cracks, eroded mud cracks and traces of erosion due to (rare) rains.