Ol Doinyo Lengai

Microcosmos

Late Katia Krafft described Lengai as a «Toy Volcano». Here we offer you a visit to this Lilliput world, characterized by details at the smallest scales. As usual the pictures on this page link to larger photos (about 40 to 140 KB).

Microcosmos
During the filling phases of the lava lake, the frozen lake surface cracks, building up miniature erupting volcanoes.
Microcosmos
Cooling lava contracts, opening cracks in its contracting surface: gas sublimation condenses sodium salt on the cracks.
Microcosmos
A miniature channel contains a waterlike flow of deep black molten lava reflecting the blue colour of sky.
Microcosmos
These miniature channels change their colour during twilight, from brown through red to dull orange.
Microcosmos
Meduse's Hairs born from the lava lake? Volcanologists call them «Intestinal Flows»: they are due to magma differentiation.
Microcosmos
Mushrooms born on the flank of a Hornito? Where gas can escape, gas sublimation condenses sodium salt in the most phantastic shapes.
Microcosmos
Oil springs in the Lybian Desert? It is hard to believe this liquid is a melt rejecting us with its strong heat.
Microcosmos
A rising Sky Dolphin crowns Hornito T40 and a miniature lava flow from lake T49E.
Microcosmos
Life and Death on Lengai: a miniature volcano disappears under a running aa lava flow.
Microcosmos
Life is coming on Lengai: the green shadow given to sodium salt comes from algae living in this extreme environment.
Microcosmos
Steady waves in a lava channel draw all black sfumatures over fresh brown and hydrated white natrocarbonatite lava.
Microcosmos
An unusual setting Big Dipper looks at the red snake advancing on the brown lava fields of Lengai's crater.
Microcosmos
Sublimating gases are sometimes rich in sulphur: its crystals are here close to a sodium salt chimney.
Microcosmos
Sodium salts are here coloured by brown and yellow algae.
Microcosmos
Meteoric water may as well solve the sodium salt, building up real salt stalactites.
Microcosmos
Like in carsic caves, stalactites build up stalagmites at their bottom, coloured by salt algae.