Erta Ale

North Pit

According to Global Volcanism Program lava lakes have been present since 1967, and possibly 1906, although the N lava lake became inactive between 1988 and 1992. Although our main interest, naturally, was in the S pit, we also travelled around the N pit which is featured on this page.

North Pit
Overview of N pit (fish-eye lens). The S pit can just barely be seen behind the fumaroles.
North Pit
Strange fumarolic deposits along the N pit's northern rim.
North Pit
Close up of the same fumarolic deposits.
North Pit
Despite the dry and hot climate, vegetation can be found on the caldera's outer slopes.
North Pit
Remarkable hornito formed by extremely fluid lava on the N pit's northeatsern rim.
North Pit
Fracturing due to extension along the rift zone's axis near the N pit's northwestern overflow.
North Pit
Small volcanic bombs have weathered out of softer tuff. Probably wind erosion played a part in forming these remarkable features.
North Pit
Note how the fumaroles south of the N pit are aligned along a fault line possibly caused by slumping of lava into the N pit.
North Pit
A miniature pit only a few dozens of meters in diameter on the S rim of the N pit. Note lava stalactites in foreground.
North Pit
Collapsed lava tunnel between the N and the S pit. Walking in this area was very hazardous...
North Pit
Remarkably big lava ropes between N and S pit. Caldera E wall in the background.
North Pit
The mini-pit seen from the other side (cf. first image of this row).