Ol Doinyo Lengai

Salt Stalactites. August 2003

Among tens of other activities, Stephane is a speleologist, so that he was able to find the most wonderful stalactites also on an active volcano! Lengai's deposits are rich of salt: steam from fumaroles condenses on these salt walls, and the resulting water melts the salt. The subsequent percolation builds up stalactites with exactly the same process followed in usual limestone caves. These volcanic stalactites have nothing to envy to their most known limestone sisters: neither colours, nor shapes...

Salt Stalactites. August 2003
Stephane is inviting us to follow him in the wonders of volcano stalactites.
Salt Stalactites. August 2003
The first group he is showing us is dominated by usual warm colours: brown, yellow, white.
Salt Stalactites. August 2003
These colours are by far more unusual: the sweetest pink is transformed into a dreaming blue.
Salt Stalactites. August 2003
Stalactites are often building up stalagmites at their feet: here we see white, green and yellow.
Salt Stalactites. August 2003
Zoom on pink-blue stalactites: they are empty inside, and are releasing water drops.
Salt Stalactites. August 2003
Air streams force many of these stalactites to take non-vertical shapes.
Salt Stalactites. August 2003
The same streams draw these phantastic laces at the stalactite roots.
Salt Stalactites. August 2003
In the shadows, the pink colour takes the warmest tonalities.
Salt Stalactites. August 2003
Probably, the water percolating along the empty stalactites becomes rich in clorates, producing this dream green colour.
Salt Stalactites. August 2003
The most phantastic shapes in a curtain of white stalactites.
Salt Stalactites. August 2003
Air streams are turbulent, of course: this stalactite records in its spyral shape the turbulence of its environment.
Salt Stalactites. August 2003
Stephane descends into the vent of T49F, fiery active on 2002. The stalactites on the top vent look like monster's teeth: we hope Stephane will be able to exit from the monster's stomach to join us on other volcanoes.